New Stash!

Time to order some new kit kids! No one wants to be the stinky one in the gym, so order up! The Crewroom is ONLY open from Wednesday 14 September – Thursday 22 September. The next kit order won’t be until 2012, so don’t miss this one, which will ensure we have new kit for 4s Head. Check out the Kit Page for details.

The 58th Vesta Scullers’ Head

This year’s Scullers’ Head will be held at 10:00 on Saturday 3rd December 2011.

The Vesta Scullers’ Head is the largest single-division processional single sculls race in the world, and is held over the 4.25 mile championship course from Mortlake to Putney. First sculled in 1954, this year’s race will involve almost 500 scullers attracting entries from all over the United Kingdom and the world, with standards ranging from internationals to novices.

Further details about the event and entries will be available on this website in late September.

E-mails sent to organisers will be answered shortly.

Results from past Vesta Scullers’ Head can be found here.

Big Breakfast and 4s Head Recce – 24 September

Big Breakfast

The Vesta annual Big Breakfast will be held at the Vesta Bar after training on Saturday 24th September (probably around 11ish). This is the traditional Vesta way of kicking off the new season while helping raise money for the tea and toast which will sustain us during the long, cold, and hard winter. So please come, bring family and friends, and eat loads of yummy porridge, sausages and breakfast goodies.

The breakfast and training session will be followed by the annual 4’s Head Recce Bar Crawl. More details to follow, but suffice it to say that it will start around 2ish, and hit all the bars along the 4s Head course (i.e. Mortlake to Putney). Make sure to eat a big breakfast to line your stomaches for an afternoon of drinking which will bring us all back to the Vesta Bar…where beers buy boats!

Any questions, please get in touch with Ailsa or Alex

Summer 2011 Regatta Summary

With the three big Henleys out of the way, members of various Vesta squads have been busy enjoying the delights of the Great British Summer regatta circuit. The following are the Vesta wins recorded this summer.

  • The women’s development squad followed up a fantastic season with a win at Richmond Regatta in W.IM3 8+ (crew:  A. van Den Berg, S. Schorm, S. Barton, S. Head, S. Schlosser, V. Harvey, R. Withers, T. Hudson, V. Taylor (cox)).
  • CORRECTION: Kingston Regatta passed with a few entries and at least TWO wins:
  • o    Mas C 4- Peter Simpson, James Weatherstone, Fred Beaud, Bryan Williams beat Kingston GS Associates
  • o    Nov 2x James Ulner and Nico Russman
  • … Fortunately we were back on winning form at a rainy Molesey Regatta, with no less than four wins – all in sculling:
  • o   Gianni Galavotti finally popped his novice sculling cherry in style, with wins at both Nov 1x and IM3 1x
  • o   Athene McGregor-Macdonald and Natalie “Red” Demblon also lost their novice status, in the W.Nov 2x
  • o   Martha Kelly notched up a win in W.IM3 1x
  • Back in Henley-on-Thames (for Henley Town and Vistitors) Vesta claimed more silverware, this time with some help from our friends:
  • o   Emi Furuhata lost her novice status in the W.Nov 4+ in conjunction with HSBC RC
  • o   Kat Hedges defended her quad title in the W.IM2 4x with alma mater club Eton Excelsior.
  • And last but not least, in the Barnes and Mortlake Regatta, Mas C 2x was won by Peter Simpson and Frederic Beaud who beat Putney Town in the semi-final and Cygnet in the Final to win.

Well done Vesta! Now back to the ergos to prep for the new season ahead!!

Martha and Aga

Vesta at World Champs: Lake Bled, Slovenia

Vesta is proud to announce that one of its own will be competing at the Rowing World Championships, held on Lake Bled, Slovenia this year. Helen Arbuthnot will be coxing the Irish Paralympic 4 in an attempt at a podium finish. With 16 entries and the top 8 qualifying for 2012 it’s not a walk in the park.

The competition will run from 28th Aug –4th Sept. Further details on specific heat times and dates to follow. For more information please visit:

Best of luck Helen…we know you’ll do Vesta proud!

Blackstaffe Club Regatta 2011


On Saturday 20th August Vesta held its annual club regatta, with all members welcomed to join in the fun. With a good crowd of supporters on the Vesta balcony the club took to the Tideway in mixed scratch eights and the hotly contested mixed double sculls (AKA the love doubles).
Racing from the Black Buoy to Putney Pier (a whopping, lung-burning 500 metres!), the crews showed an awesome display of brute strength and unstoppable competition. It was a really good turn out with four mixed eights and eight double sculls. Plus an entourage of umpires and organisers.
Winning the mixed eights in Derek the White (yes it does still float), coxed by Ro, from bow, Sarah, Sarah, Stewart, Sabine, Si, Sam, Cheryl and Luke. Competition was fierce in the doubles, but Harry and Ailsa, the Bond and the Blonde, despite not being on top form (again), narrowly defeated, Kitty and Richard (I won’t say what their crew was called).  Both crews were awarded smart, shiny, VRC pots, which were christened later on in the evening.
We welcomed a photographer from English Heritage, who was introduced to the Vesta spirit and bar. Everyone enjoyed the fabulous BBQ put on by Dick, ably assisted by Annette and others. A big thank you to them, the organisers, umpires, bar staff and spectators. We look for to the 2012 showdown (which will be in the middle of the Olympics, so we may well be men down).

By Aga and Cheryl

Pairs Head 2011

The Pairs Head will be held on Saturday 8th October at 2:30pm. The course will run with the stream from Chiswick to Hammersmith Bridge. Check with your coach before entering. Permission for boat use must be cleared with the Captain (Alex). Please contact the entries secretary, Nicky Watts, before the close of entries on 26 September. You must have monies in your race fees account in order to enter. Full details on the Pairs Head website.

Parliamentary Boat Race report

Vesta RC’s senior women’s squad were invited to race again in this year’s Parliamentary Boat Races on July 13th, an annual event sponsored by Siemens to raise awareness of our sport and raise money among MPs for charity.  A women’s VIII (formed primarily from the HWR winning crew) attempted to make it four wins in a row for the squad. On a windy afternoon, the crew set about rigging “Tommy” in the slightly insalubrious surroundings of a broken glass-strewn layby behind the arches at Vauxhall, with only the close vicinity to a Majestic Wine Warehouse helping us to feel more at home. The safety briefing brought news of a revised race course and cancellation of the youth crews’ events; given the high water and wind against tide, the conditions were choppy even by usual Tideway standards. With a carefully marshalled crossing of the Albert Embankment to the London Duck Tours slipway (or, “next to MI6” as we prefer), and with just time enough for at least half of us to bury flip-flops in the deceptively deep, sticky mud on the shoreline, the crew boated, ready to face the opposition – Mortlake Anglian & Alpha.

Spies in the enemy camp hadn’t been wrong about how stacked the crew was, as the 8th-placed crew from WeHoRR reformed for the occasion, including as it did three Olympians, including Sarah Winckless (bronze, Athens) and a couple of Beijing silver medallists, and individuals who attended GB trials this year. Of course this wasn’t enough to deter the intrepid Vesta women, and we got stuck straight into our total race preparation – three 7-stroke starts – as we made our way to the start line.  With our usual strong start, we kept in touch with the oppo throughout the sprint course and when the “wind down!” call came we were a mere half-length down – not too shabby considering the competition!

With that, we performed our “row past” for the spectators and were off to the reception held on the terrace of the Houses of Parliament, with the honour of entering Parliament from the river via the Black Rod Steps, and the slightly more dubious honour of parading around the high offices of government in mud-slicked lycra. The women’s race was followed by a men’s race between London RC and Thames RC (won by London), and the finale was a race between the House of Commons and the House of Lords with a decisive win for the Commons – helped along no doubt by the superb coxing of our own Helen Arbuthnot.

The reception was attended by MPs, Lords, and a number of representatives from the world of rowing – Di Ellis, David Tanner, and some members of the GB squad, to list a few. As well as being a great day out, it was as usual a great opportunity to show the club in a positive light. And with that, all that was left was the return journey, including an unchaperoned crossing by Tommy of the Albert Embankment during rush hour – well done Vicky Taylor for demonstrating excellent lollipop lady skills!

Crew: (cox to bow) Vicky Taylor, Hilary Blandy, Holly de Gay, Stine Keys, Liane Higgins, Nell Pascal, Vicky Brock, Natalie “Red” Demblon, Martha Kelly (yes, that’s 6 strokesiders…)

Henley Masters Regatta 2011

Vesta had an extremely successful weekend of racing at Henley Masters Regatta.  George Fieldhouse and Barry Clarke won Masters B 2- and then doubled up with Helen Gray, Jamie Halliday and Michael Hughes to win the Masters B 4+.

Photo copyright BigBlade Photography:

In the 2- George and Barry overcame the current National Masters Champions, 2010 Pairs Head divisional winners (who finished 46th overall in a Masters 2-) ex-GB internationals and Henley Royal medal winners en route to an eventful final against a strong Oporto University crew. The final was extremely close, with Vesta recovering from a slightly wayward start to begin draw ahead of Oporto before the Oporto crew clashed with the booms mid-way down the course. Distances of Easily, 2.5 Lengths and 2.5 Lengths gave the pair immense satisfaction and have made all the season long 5.30am outings and endless bench-pulls worthwhile.

The 4+ has just come together over the last couple weeks but the experienced individuals adapted well and surprised all the competitors (and themselves) by being extremely dominant in all races.  Inch perfect steering by Helen set the scratch crew up for strong performances in their semi and final.  Jamie swapped his Elite single for the stroke seat where he set a fantastic pace and rhythm.  Michael literally jumped out of the Thames Cup 8o and provided a massive amount of power and strength in the bow seat.

There were many comments from officials and competitors that it was great to see Vesta back on a Henley Masters presentation pontoon.

Henley Masters is an extremely well run event over an abridged Henley Royal course.  Competition is of the highest standard with a large number of international crews, Henley Royal medal winners, Olympians and ex-Internationals competing.  Both the Vesta crews can pay testament to the quality of entry but also the manner in which the opposition carried themselves.  The opposition were extremely magnanimous in defeat with the threat to be training even harder to try to keep up.  No doubt the 2- and 4+ will be back next year to defend their titles and hope to be bringing more Vesta crews along with them.  In the meantime, roll on the Winter Head season!