Quintin Head Round Up


Fastest Women from cox to bow, Julia Hedley, Kat Astley, Holly deGay, Caroline Newbury, Lara Brock, Stine Keyes, Kitty Lowings, Emma Dyson, Kat Hedges

The 2012 VIIIs Head Season began on Saturday 28th January with Quintin Head, raced from Chiswick to Harrods Wall. Vesta had a dominant showing with three Senior Women crews, one Dev Women crew, one Senior Men crew, and one Vet Men crew entered. All crews performed strongly, despite some blade clashes which made for harrowing rowing.

The senior women layed the marker for the months ahead, the girls won the Senior division and brought back the pennant for fastest women.  Having moved away from Barnes Bridge Ladies off the start, the race focused on chasing down the Elite boat of Durham University just in front.  Some brilliant coxing forced them way out of the racing line and Vesta eased past them just before Hammersmith Bridge (with the fabulous call ‘Move out of my way, I’m faster than you’), to finish 20 second ahead of them and the rest of the field.

The Dev Women raced what was for some of them not only their first ever rowing race, but also the first time to have rowed all the way up to (and back from!) Chiswick. Well done for a stellar performance!

Vesta and Downton Abbey

A Swedish rowing blogger living in Connecticut, Goran R Buckhorn, recently posted about a link he found between Vesta and a recent episode of Downton Abbey. ‘During the War, Vesta RC’s R.J. Calcutt (club president 1905-1919) had taken the initiative to offer ‘war-blinded men’ at St Dunstan’s, rowing at Vesta. The ex-Service men were taught rowing by the club’s members.’ St. Dunstan’s is the hospital featured in the series. Click here to read the full blog post. Thanks for finding the link and blogging about it Goran!

Boating from Vesta for the Tideway Head Races

Vesta welcomes visiting crews from the UK and overseas for the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race on 3rd March 2012 and the Men’s Eights Head of the River Race on 17th March 2012.  Please request boating permission from the club deputy captain e: deputycaptain@vestarowing.co.uk.  We politely request a nominal fee of £5 per rower to cover the club’s maintenance costs. On receipt of boating permission, please send a cheque made out to Vesta Rowing Club.

Scullers Head Roundup

Vesta Senior Women triumph at the Vesta Scullers Head 

The 2011 Scullers Head Winners

The 2011 Vesta Scullers Head took place on Saturday, 3rd December. Vesta is the only club that single-handedly organises not one, but two of the major Tideway Heads – a feat made possible because of members and friends of the club members. Happily not put off by the cold conditions in 2010, we had 528 entries for the 2011 race, with 26 of our own Vesta entries. The event ran without (major) incident with only two crews “DNF”.

Once the dust had settled post-race, and event chairman Sinéad Hayes recovered from mental exhaustion, the winners were celebrated at a prizegiving held on 13th December. Sinéad once again pulled out all the stops to cater for the event in true rower style – i.e. fantastic canapés in vast volumes.

Tommy Thompson and event chairman Sinéad Hayes with winners Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial) and Imogen Walsh (London RC) and their prizes

Event winners came from all over the UK and from far beyond. Bragging rights for best Tideway club were shared between Tideway Scullers and London Rowing Club with seven wins each. The fastest man and woman were both GB lightweights, Adam Freeman-Pask (21:09.0) and Imogen Walsh (22:35.9). In addition to the medals awarded by event, recast from the original 1953 prize, the fastest men and women received an exquisite scale model sculpture of a single scull cast in pewter.

The Vesta Senior Women’s Squad succeeded in three events, with lightweight Holly De Gay achieving the fastest time of all three despite starting at 521, when the sun was starting to set. The winners were as follows:

Two of Vesta’s winners, Kat Hedges and Holly De Gay, with Sinéad Hayes

Holly De Gay, W.IM3.LWT.1x (23:58.5)

Liz Crighton, W.IM2.1x (24:04.7)

Kat Hedges, W.MasA.1x (24:16.2)

For full results, please check out the Results Page by clicking here.

Even more hotly contested are the Vesta exclusive events, also known as “Dick’s Bar Prizes” (two bottles of cava and glory untold). The categories and winners for these events were:

1st man home: Jamie Halliday
1st male Master: Barry Clarke (… faster than Jamie after adjusting for handicap)
1st woman home: Holly De Gay
1st female Master: Kat Hedges

It is understood that the Cava was appropriately consumed and enjoyed following the Vesta Annual Dinner… an event for which no website write-up is required!

Words and pictures by Martha Kelly.

Wallingford Head Success!

 

IM18+ Pennant Winners (s - Kat Astley, Lara Brock, Caroline Newbury, Aga Siemiginowska, Emma Dyson, Kitty Lowings, Kathryn Clover, Kat Hedges, cox Jamie Wooler)

The Vesta senior squads were out in force at a sunny Wallingford Head on Sunday 27th November, with two men’s VIIIs, four women’s VIIIs and four women’s IVs in action. With an exciting set of bends halfway down the course, all coxes and steers did a great job to bring home all equipment intact, albeit occasionally decorated with small amounts of shrubbery. The squads gained quality race experience, with all finding better pace by the second division, having enjoyed rather more sedate rhythms in division one. The women’s squad recorded two wins in the afternoon, in IM1 VIII and Sen 4-. The W.IM1 VIII enjoyed overtaking their competitors so much with their new-found race pace that they took a detour into the bushes through that infamous bend, enabling the rest of the category to catch up; before storming through the field again to bringing home the pennant. In the W.Sen 4- event, the race was on between two Vesta crews. Having despatched Reading University early on, it was up to the mighty lighties to maintain the leading position to the finish line. The final verdict was a win to the lighties with a margin of half a second – thank heavens for Wallingford’s precision timing, eh?! We’ll call that a very well-matched set of performances.

Vesta Annual Dinner Tickets Now on Sale

Ladies and gentlemen, tickets for this year’s annual dinner, to be held on Friday the 9th of December 2011, are now on sale.

Tickets cost just £50 and include:

– mini-bus transportation between VRC and the Roehampton Club
– welcome drink when you arrive at the Roehampton club
– 4 course dinner (starter, main, dessert, cheese course)
– coffee, tea and petit fours
– delightful and entertaining speeches including your captain and a specially selected keynote speaker
– entry to the after party at VRC and all the usual shenanigans that follow

How to buy your tickets:

Tickets are £50 each. Vesta members can purchase tickets for themselves and one non-member. One week before the event, any remaining tickets will be able to be sold to additional non-members.

For the first time ever we are attempting to modernise the ticket selling process and will be making tickets available for purchase online via PayPal. Here’s how to get yours:

Buy online: You will be receive an email on 16/11/2011  with a link to purchase tickets online. If you do not recieve an email or have any questions, please contact Aga

Pay by cheque: If paying by cheque you can purchase tickets in person from Emily Trant. She will be at the club on Thursday the 17th of November from 6:30pm until 10pm, and on Sunday the 20th of November from 11:30am until 1:30pm. Further times and dates will be announced as needed. You may also post your cheque to Vesta Rowing Club for the attention of Emily Trant.

Please note that no paper tickets will be issued this year. Instead, a guest list at the door will be administered by Ailsa and Emily.

If you have any problems, questions, concerns, please email Aga and she’ll try to get things sorted asap.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Fours Head – A Big Thank You

A special thank you to the members of the Women’s Dev squad who volunteered to help with marshalling on Putney Hard. It went more smoothly than we could possibly have hoped, and we received many compliments from the police, Council, coaches and competitors on the helpful and cheerful attitude of the Vesta members. Many thanks from Judith on behalf of the Fours Head Committee.

Fours Head of the River

Happily for all competitors, the weather forecasts were wrong and the 5th of November offered excellent racing conditions for the Fours Head of the River Race.  The weather was dry and mild (handy when you’re marshalling in the 400s) with a gentle breeze, and the water conditions as good as you’ll find on the tideway. Following the sprinkling of GB squad members racing in the pairs head, there was a large contingent of the current GB squad out competing for their respective clubs and picking up more silverware for their groaning trophy cabinets. (Unlike in training outings I believe they all made it home in one piece as well.)  The Hor4s twitter account disclosed that the race committee run a sweepstake on the number of crews in the top 100 who hit the buoy at Chiswick Pier – and true to form, the crews marshalling in that area enjoyed the sight of crew after non-tideway crew beat up the Chiswick pier buoy.

Fortunately this isn’t a “key target” race for the club, so we had a mere ten crews from Vesta competing across men’s and women’s, scull and sweep, among the 455 crews that completed the course. With some sub-tastic entries, three of the Vesta crews raced for time only. The event saw the usual mixed experiences whereby some crews had an open fairway for about 4 miles – a steering experience never enjoyed during training! – while others fought for space with competitors either side.

There were no wins for the club but good racing throughout, and some notable performances. The men’s IM1 4- finished eighth out of 36, including as it did the winning IM2 pair combination from the pairs head (Richard Lear and Simon Woodfine). The women’s IM1 4x came third in a large, and at the top end very pacy, field of 38 boats. Meanwhile there were two second places, for the women’s senior 4- and the women’s IM1 4-, the latter fighting off a fellow Vesta crew in the same category. Their pace must have had something to do with coach Jamie Low’s advice that as lightweights they should keep it “fast and loose” – probably not the first time such advice has been successful. (Ahem.)

Given the shortage of boats for the vast (in number) senior women’s squad, both the senior and IM2 women’s boats had to be returned to Hammersmith post-race, meaning their crews had a Putney-Chiswick warm up, followed by a Putney-Hammersmith warm down followed by a long walk back to the club. All crews had limited training time in their racing formats, with the luckier crews getting more than one outing before Saturday. The IM2 crew tried to fit in some last minute practise, and so gathered at 5.45am on Friday morning amid heavy rain, thunder and lightning,  only to find that some especially secure locking of the boatshed (Captain, please note) meant a quick borrow of incorrectly geared blades from KCS. Getting up early is such a good idea in theory…

All crews enjoyed taking local scalps, in addition to visitors who may not be so familiar with the stream. However, perhaps the greatest achievement of the day was that of our Communications Officer Aga Siemiginowska (IM1 4+). If anyone deserves a medal, it’s her, for managing to complete the race for the first time out of four (yes, four) attempts, having been defeated in previous years by crew injury, weather and broken steering. Well done Aga!

Well done also and thank you to the efforts in the bar and the kitchen, as marshalled by Ailsa Tremayne, for providing bacon baguettes, cakes, hot drinks and the odd pint or two to many a competitor and spectator over the course of the day.

– Martha K