Burns’ Night Supper at Vesta on Friday 25th Jan

robert-burnsYippeee! It’s time to warm yourselves up from your January blues! Dick has announced that we will be holding a traditional Burns’ Night Supper at Vesta on Friday 25th January, 7.30-8.00pm. Not to be missed I assure you.

On offer will be:

  • A welcoming glass or two of Fizz.
  • Haggis, neaps and tatties.
  • A hearty Scottish pudding.
  • A selection of Scottish cheeses.
  • A tasting of Whiskies.

All inclusive £25 per person, which is such good value it’s a thrifty Scotsman’s treat. All lads and lasses are welcome.

Numbers are limited, so please let Dick know as soon as possible if you wish to attend.

The wearing of kilts is encouraged! Otherwise smart casual.

NEW Classified listings section!

New Vesta club classifiedsExciting news! We have just put live a new Club Classifieds section here. Perfect for selling / looking for boats / sculling blades /training equipment, or for finding a flat / flatmate… but not for finding your mate a girlfriend…

The great news is that any Vesta member (or friend) can post a listing. All listings are moderated by a site administrator, i.e. me (and Laurence). All replies to ads have to go via the website to protect the poster’s contact details. There is also spam protection on it. Each listing has a default lifetime of 30 days and there is a reminder to tell the poster when their ad expires.

Once we have genuine listings posted I will push these onto the home page in a feed to ensure that they are seen by members. Plus, I promise to mention them in the all-vesta newsletters too. Let me know if you have any other questions. Email comms@vestarowing.co.uk.

Subscribe to Vesta’s news using RSS Feed

rss-icon-772x250I’ve been asked if you can get the latest posts from this beautiful Vesta Rowing Club website in a feed that you can subscribe to. The answer is YES OF COURSE!

This means that you don’t have to keep checking the website to see if it’s changed. You can simply get the news headlines sent to your computer screen as and when updates happen.

All you have to do is go to http://www.vestarowing.co.uk/feed and then you can subscribe to the feed either using a Feed Reader that you may have already or can install, e.g. through Google Reader, Yahoo or whatever.

I’ve also added the icon on the right side bar for you to use in the future.

I hope this helps you, kids.


Vesta member heading for Antarctica

If you think rowing on the Tideway can be chilly, fancy heading to Antarctica for the winter? Not a chance, thank you, but one of our members is on their way over right now on quite a high-profile expedition…Eric Reynolds writes:

I hope that you are warm and comfortable and that you will have a peaceful and prosperous 2013.

I am probably not going to be quite so warm as I am aboard the good ship SA Agulhas on route to Antarctica to deliver Ran Fiennes and his team onto the ice at the start of their attempt at the first ever crossing of the continent during the Polar winter.

The SA Agulhas

There are a bunch of good scientific and educational reasons for undertaking the Coldest Journey, plus of course the ‘boys own adventure’ side of things.

Very importantly we have a target of raising $10,000,000 for a charity called Seeing is Believing.

The expedition is a private enterprise (not government  sponsored) so we are scraping all the barrels in order to get there and with any luck back again.

So far we have raised sufficient to charter the ship and to pay for enough fuel to get started, but we might get stuck in the Southern Ocean unless we can raise some more while we are away.

If you would like to help get us back – every £1 donated puts a litre in the tank.

http://www.justgiving.com/thecoldestjourney is the easy way to contribute.

Any surplus raised over cost will be matched by Standard Chartered bank and will be used to help those who cannot see in Africa and India.  More information on the adventure and the aims at  www.thecoldestjourney.org.

I can’t promise to bring you back a piece of ice but if you click to donate and email me that you have I will arrange for a Ran signed thank you to be sent to you.

Very best wishes


The Coldest Journey logo

Order Vesta kit now

kit2The start of January means colder weather and head races on the horizon…time to stock up with even more kit then!
Crewroom/JL Kit Ordering Window
The Crewroom ordering window is open now! If you missed out last time on getting racing kit then now is your chance. Please note the JL lycra is the club’s official kit and is what those racing should wear as, it uses the correct shade of Vesta crimson.
Window opens: 03/01/13
Window closes: 13/01/13
Delivery: Before Henley Fours & Eights Head (16th Feb)
Login: vestarc
Password: blackstaff
This is the last opportunity to order kit before women’s/men’s HORR and training camps. The next window will open soon after we all get back in prep for the summer regatta season.

For more kit information see our kit page

Next Vesta Bar Quiz 30th January

Vesta bar quiz - all welcome

Vesta bar quiz – all welcome

Dear Class of Vesta 2013, you are all invited to our bar quiz on a SCHOOL NIGHT!  It’s Wednesday 30th January 2013 (how weird does that sound?) and you have a special pass from our honorary quiz master, Gordon Barnes, to stay out late. Don’t miss this chance to socialise in the bleakest of months – you should have been paid by then!

Start time is 8:30, food should be provided, and the bar will of course be open.

Get a team together or just turn up, the more the merrier.


Ms Communications,

P.S. Watch out for tweets if you want to swot up on questions in advance. (In my day this was cheating! Sniff.)

New Year’s Eve

This year there will not be a party, but the bar will be open for a gathering of members. We hope this will be a lovely, low-key celebration to bring in the new year with friends. The bar will closed at 1am to prevent any further damage to the club as was seen after the annual dinner.

Vesta men win in the Remenham Challenge

Two Vesta men’s crews won their divisions in the Remenham Challenge Head held on Sunday 16th December. It was a tremendous start for the novice men, who won their first ever race, beating London and Thames novice crews. Hopefully the taste of victory gives them confidence to continue as racers!

Vesta novice men's crew

The senior squad also had very well-earned success winning the Intermediate category and coming 5th overall. Well done!

Vesta intermediate men's crew

Vesta intermediate men's crew

Vesta also gained a close 2nd place in the Women’s Elite category, being pipped by a Thames crew. The women’s competition is bound to hot up as Vesta raced with a couple of subs on the day, so there’s extra speed to be found.

Overall we had seven crews racing on a beautiful, not too cold, wintry day. The Remenham Challenge, being the forerunner of all the eights heads, is always a mixed field in terms of racing quality, as crews find their racing legs, or not. There were 38 crews racing altogether, so Vesta’s was the 2nd biggest entry for a club next to Thames, who entered an impressive 14 crews.

The full results are here and the Vesta crews’ results will be on our Results page shortly.

Thanks to Stewart Button for the photographs.


Vesta Christmas Party – Saturday 15th December

This Saturday Vesta hosts the Christmas party, starting at 13:00 there will be a buffet and mulled wine. The bar will be open with games galore for some honest family fun.

Feel free to bring friends and family along to enjoy the festivities and what Vesta has to offer! Bring your Christmas tinsel and Santa hats for the party look!

Following the afternoon fun, a pub quiz will be running from 18:00 for those wanting to move the party into the evening, with the bar running its usual hours for those wanting to partake.

Scullers’ Head Smooth Success

Scullers' Head Start

Beautiful day for it!

Saturday 8th December was quite a beautiful day on the Tideway for the Scullers’ Head. Cold but calm and gorgeously sunny, which was a relief for many, I’m sure. Our brilliant volunteers from Vesta and elsewhere got up extra early to be at Ranelagh for the briefing as the sun rose, so that 448 single scullers could start racing at 9:30am.

Conditions played a big part in the race results, the Tideway being lucky for some as usual. The overall times were fairly slow and at first glance the results look slightly strange with so many late starters doing so well, but rest assured that this wasn’t anything to do with our timing team getting bored, and everything to do with the enormous amount of land water affecting the later tide. Hopefully next year’s race will be back to normal.

Alan Campbell at Scullers' Head 2012

Alan Campbell winner of the Scullers' Head 2012 courtesy of Ben Rodford

The overall winner was 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner, Alan Campbell, with a substantial lead of 19 seconds over the next best sculler.

Incidentally this year it looks like we have a batch of amazing novice scullers as 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th places were all taken by ‘novices’, but again this is likely because of their later start times! Similarly the fastest woman was a W.senior 3 lightweight who started position 547.

Liz Crighton at Scullers' Head 2012

Liz Crighton winner of W.Sen division of the Scullers' Head courtesy of Ben Rodford

Vesta won a pennant again this year in the Women’s Senior category. Congratulations to Liz Crighton who charged home in 23:43.64 coming 21st out of the women overall. Well done!

Of the 19 Vesta contenders who raced, Jon Brown was our best placed man as 77th, Steve Whittle, our fastest novice man at 113th, Fred Beaud, the fastest veteran, a MasC, coming 4th in category at 117th. We didn’t have a novice woman racing – next year girls remember that there’s bar prizes to be won for fastest novices!

Barry Clarke racing the Scullers' Head 2012

Barry Clarke racing the Scullers' Head 2012 courtesy of Ben Rodford

Other notables: Barry Clarke came 2nd in his category of MasB.Nov; Rowan McKellar was 2nd to Liz in W.Sen; M Maynard was 2nd in MasC.Nov; and (an injured) Kat Hedges came 2nd in W.MasA.

Famously there’s always a Vesta member bringing up the rear and the credit for last place goes to Jock McKerrell, 3rd place in MasH with a time of 28:33.59. Alan Campbell, let’s see if you can do that in 40 years time. Ha!

Last, but not least at all, a huge amount of recognition and thanks to Sinead, Chris, Tash and all the Open Events Committee, umpires, launch drivers, timing team, bacon sarnie makers, food sellers, bar staff and all the wonderful people I’ve forgotten to mention. It would not happen without you.

Scullers' Head Start Queue

Organising the queue up to the Start - like herding cats as usual!

Photos by Ben Rodford (@Ben_Rodford) can be found here.