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.

Safety Briefing on Thursday 13th December

Fog on the Thames

Well I wouldn't recommend going out in this...

There will be a safety briefing this Thursday at 8.30pm. Attendance is compulsory for all new members and all who steer boats. All active members are also encouraged to attend.  It is timed so that the squad members can attend after training and eat their Thursday food during the briefing. The talk will take 30 minutes and will be given by Tony Reynolds, who, in addition to helping with coaching at Vesta, is the Thames Region Water Safety Advisor.

The safety briefing will enable you to make the best decisions when rowing and coxing on the tidal Thames. It is a very unpredictable stretch of water that is shared by many users in different craft and you need to know how to react when faced with the unexpected. You may be a perfect steersperson, but that’s not to say you might come across someone who is not. Remember… “Never underestimate the stupidity of other people“.

Vesta bar prizes tomorrow for home club members

As an extra incentive to the 25 Vesta scullers entered tomorrow, there will be prizes at the bar for:
1st woman
1st man
1st novice man
1st novice woman
1st veteran (incl handicap)

Prizes: either two bottles of Cava or a gallon of beer.
No one can win two prizes.

Think of that when you passing the island, or in fact that and a hot bacon buttie and tea. It’s sure you give you an extra push!

Scullers Head Instructions

The instructions for competitors, course map and map of the start and finish illustrating the marshalling that will be in place are all now available here. We apologise they are a little late, due to delays outside our control.

Instructions to competitors Scullers Head 2012

Scullers Head Welfare Policy & Plan

Scullers Head Course Map

Scullers Head Start & Finish Map

Full details of the race are here.

The draw has also been updated to reflect the correct collection points for certain competitors.