Blackstaffe Day 2009

There was a particularly competitive scent in the air this Blackstaffe Day, with last year’s winners of the mixed doubles event being granted special permission to defend their title. A number of love boats fancied their chances against the reigning champions and by popular demand the rule preventing previous winning crews from entering in subsequent years was lifted. Harry and Charlie showed no signs of giving in (did they even break a sweat?) and cruised to victory in the final against Kitty and Nick Ireland.

Mixed doubles winners Mixed eights winners

The mixed eights event saw a controversial win for the crew of six men and two women over three evenly matched crews. But as Caster Semenya has proved, gender is just something that’s written on your birth certificate. The focus then turned to boat-naming, where Trevor finally named four of the fleet of launches he has kindly purchased for the club over the years. Formerly affectionately known as 199, 299 and so on, they were baptised with a splash of champagne and dedicated to longstanding deceased Vesta members.

The cups Trevor dedicates the launches

And so the fleet was named:

The boats are named - no going back

The celebration continued well into the night with the senior women’s long-awaited 90s party, featuring guest appearances from Ab Fab, Where’s Wally, Baywatch, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pulp Fiction, The Matrix… all fuelled by copious amounts of Archers, blue WKDs and Bacardi Breezers. But it was all too much for some.

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Welcome to the new Vesta website

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Welcome to the new, improved Vesta website.

If you would like anything added to the website or have any ideas for news or content, please email Laurence. Also if you have any photos from events Vesta has been present at, do send them in and we will post them for all to enjoy.

There are now new mailing lists,  so we would ask all members to visit http://vestarowing.co.uk/mailman/listinfo to ensure you are subscribed to the relevant club and squad lists.

Pre-season Squad Meetings

Vesta balcony

Just a reminder that the pre-09/10 season meetings will be held in the front room at Vesta on the following dates:

Men’s Senior Squad: Thursday 3rd Sept @ 7.30pm

Women’s Senior Squad: Thursday 10th Sept @ 7pm

If you’re interested in rowing at Vesta this year, do come along. You’ll get to meet the coaches, become (re)acquainted with the Vesta bar and we’ll outline our goals for the year. For any other queries, please see the respective squad pages and get in touch with the coaches listed there.

Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta

It didn’t look good when Mark was de-rigging his single after only the first race, but it had got much better by the last race of the regatta when Ryan Kane, Jeremy Rose, Chris Joynes and Will Laffan were celebrating victory by one foot in the IM1 (yes, IM1) 4- final.

Victory in IM1

(Photo courtesy of Tim Hodges, in case you hadn’t guessed.)

In the meantime a record number of crews had qualified for finals and there were four Vesta wins in the W IM2 4x, the IM3 4+ , IM2 1x and IM1 4- categories.

The club’s sculling fraternity deserves a special mention: in a large entry of Vesta scullers Harry Bond lost the Elite final against a GB sculler in Mahe Drysdale’s boat by only one foot and in a close Vesta/Vesta final Jeremy Burke beat Michael Hughes by just three feet. In a race that looked like the master craftsman was passing on his trade to the young apprentice, the master was lucky to win in the very last few metres of the race.

Congratulations to the novice, sorry senior, four that won IM1 4- on the very last stroke to win their second pots in a week. Novice at Staines, IM1 at HT&V – a fantastic result!

The Vesta Times – July edition now out!

Vesta Times

The July 09 edition of The Vesta Times can be found here. Featuring a roundup of the summer season (including our results from Henley and Henley Women’s regattas) together with reports from our much-appreciated coaches and notice of forthcoming summer events. Enjoy!

Molesey Amateur Regatta

A large contingent from all the squads had a good days racing at Molesey and recorded four wins.

There was a long overdue novice win for the NV 4+ of Philippa Le Roux, Harriet Caldwell-Nichols, Janine Snape, Robyn MacCrimmon, steered by Kate Garratt, a huge win for Michael Hughes in his third Novice 1x final of the summer and solid IM2 wins for Kitty and Kat in the 2x and Jeremy Burke in the 1x.

6333_123194725906_728095906_3449308_7173218_n The novice girls win at Molesey

Vesta bring home Victor Ludorum at Kingston

The senior squads had a good day at Kingston Amateur Regatta with four wins. The senior women’s IM1 8 beat Cambridge Uni in the semi and then went on to beat the other two Cambridge crews in a close final for the first pot of the day.

Women's eight

Harry then did the honours in the IM1 single before coming back in a scratch crew to take on the Obama Four in the Vesta/Vesta IM1 4- final in what was the race of the day. In race closer than last week’s City of Bristol semi final the crews were dead level coming into the enclosure. A late push just gave the Ireland/Campbell/Shaw/Bond crew a win in the last stroke of the race – the offical verdict was three feet but it looked much closer.

Four on way to victory

In a rare Novice Quad event, a group of our novice scullers then beat a strong junior crew from Calpe of Gibraltar to claim the fourth win of the day and their novice sculling pots. Sadly Michael Hughes, who is trying to win his novice sculling pot the hard way, couldn’t beat a strong Tiffin sculler in the novice 1x final. Also unsuccesful was the Hindshaw/Henderson double who unfortunately suffered from a lack of race practice.

Elite coach double
Congratulations to everyone for a good day’s racing – and for winning the Victor Ludorum. Same again next year please!

Henley Royal Regatta 2009

The Britannia coxed four had a fantastic run at HRR and made it to the final, narrowly losing to Agecroft who were the pre-regatta favourites. Many congratulations to Mark Williams, Harry Bond, Big Nick Neveling, Dylan Samuel and cox Michael Wale, and to the coaches Martin Hindshaw and Karl Henderson.

This was Vesta’s 18th appearance in a Henley Final; the full list is shown in the results section. Further coverage appeared in the Surrey Comet shortly afterwards.

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Vesta’s second boat was entered in the Thames Challenge Cup. Despite a decisive win against Combined Services on Wednesday they were knocked out by favourites Tideway Scullers the following day. The crew of Alasdair Anderson, Rob Shaw, Josh McInerney, Mat Jozwiak, Laurence Manning, Alister Campbell, James Watts and Uinseann McSamhrain and cox Liz Head put in a solid performance and this result proves that a year of technical work and fitness training has brought the squad to a new level with great potential to go even further next year.

HRR11edit

As usual, Vesta supporters were out in force and leading the famous ‘Remenham roar’ as our crews streaked past the club! Many thanks to all who turned up and we hope to see you all again next year for even more success and champagne on Paul Baldwin, our ever-generous chairman.

The view from Remenham Vesta supporters as the boats come down the course

Henley Women’s Regatta

Vesta had a great run at Henley Women’s Regatta impressively reaching two finals.

Coxed four

The intermediate coxed four of Vics Mcleod-More, Aga Siemiginowska, Emily Druce and Natasha Henderson-Ross with Andrew MacMillan coxing did well to qualify in a strong field. Sadly, they then lost to eventual finalists City of Oxford in the first round.

Eight racing

The eight of Verity Ansell, Sarah Wood, Anna Barkensjo, Charlie Dempster, Gaby Turner, Rahma Barclay, Emily Trant and Kitty Lowings coxed by Ross Martin did particularly well, storming through the time trial and all three rounds on the way to the final with some close races on the way (including a canvas win over Putney Town in the second round).

In the final they came up against a very strong York City crew who had posted similar times to Vesta during the regatta. Throughout the race York had to pull out all the stops to repel Vesta pushes again and again, but they just managed to hold on and went on to win by a length.

Coxless four

The Elite coxless four of Anna Storrs, Kat Hedges, Mary Donovan and Becki Helson faced an incredibly tough field but after a determined fight and some interesting steering from both crews they clawed out a lead of a length and a quarter in their semi to become the second Vesta crew this year to make a HWR final. In the final they sadly lost out to a fierce Molesey crew which included some GB triallists.

Freya Johnstone put in a gutsy row down the course up until the halfway point, where she lost her lead on her opponent in the lightweight singles heat.

All in all, although it’s gutting to come so close to a win, reaching two HWR finals is a phenomenal achievement for the squad and congratulations must go to the athletes and especially to the coaches Matt Gilliver, Paul Fitzwilliam, Jessica Essex and the guest coaches such as Rusty Williams.

Marlow Regatta

While the women were busy destroying the opposition in Henley, the men’s squad raced in eights and fours at Dorney. Coming first in their IM2 eights heat, second in the semi and fourth in the final, the Senior Men’s 8+ of Alisdair Anderson, Rob Shaw, Josh McInerney, Mat Jozwiak, Laurence Manning, Alister Campbell, James Watts, Vincent McGovern and cox Liz Head put in a gutsy performance. The coxed four posted some consistent times and the Intermediate squad’s coxless four got in some good multi-lane racing experience. Click here for full results.

IM1 4-

Photo courtesy of Birdman Photography.