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+.
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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!