We’re back into the swing of the season at Vesta and there’s lots going on. Make sure to add these dates to your diary so you don’t miss out!
Big Breakfast – After training on Saturday 3rd October. Come upstairs to the bar for an epic fry up. All the profits go to paying for your weekend tea and toast, so even if you can’t stay for it, a contribution would be gratefully received. Alex is cooking, so you know it will be good.
Whole Club Pub Crawl –After training, the tradition is to get the train down to Mortlake and do a ‘reconnaissance mission’ to check out the Head course. Naturally we’ll walk back via each pub along the river. Plus it’s a chance to cheer on those crews racing in the Pairs Head that afternoon. Meet at the Vesta Bar.
Water Safety briefing – After training, around 12h30. If you haven’t yet been to a safety briefing this season then this one is a must. The rules along the river are constantly changing, so even if you are a senior rower and you have heard these briefings in previous years, you still need to attend. If you are signed off on the steers list, you also must attend. (Without trying to be too heavy-handed, you will be removed from the steers list if you do not attend). All coaches must also attend a briefing, and there will be a session just for coaches at the rowing committee meeting on 3 October.
Other dates for your diary:
18 December – Remenham Challenge and Christmas Party
29 January – Vesta’s Annual Dinner (which is the hottest ticket going on the tideway)
Beginners’ Rowing Course – Summer 2015 Start Date:
- Monday 22nd June @ 19:30 – Registration at Vesta Rowing Club
- To register your interest, email Martin Graham: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 6 week / 4 week course members may start after this date – please contact us.
- 8 weeks
- Course ends – Saturday 15th August
- £125 for full learn to row course
- £110 for 6 weeks
- £90 for 4 weeks
- Monday – evening
- Wednesday – evening
- Saturday – morning
- 1 x land/fitness session, 2 x water/technical sessions
- Mixed groups
- Maximum size of each group – 20
The Vesta Beginners’ Course:
The course is aimed at men and women who are looking for a new challenge and want to learn to row. If you have played other competitive sports or regularly attend a gym and want to test yourself in a team environment then rowing is the sport for you.
The course will work on your fitness whilst teaching you the core rowing technique. Sessions will take place both on the land and river and you will always be supervised by a coach who will lead the sessions.
There is no obligation to continue or sign-up as a member after the course but we hope you will have enjoyed your time enough that you are interested in joining our Novice Squads in September for the start of the 2015/16 season.
Please go to the Novice Squad page for further information.
Race report by Amelia Munsey, Masters A cox
Over 200 crews took to the Thames on Saturday 28 March for the 2015 edition of the Vesta Veterans’ Head of the River. The weather stayed pleasant and not too windy, despite concerns from the weather reports!
The race was won by the Austrian Alumni, a crew containing representatives from RV Gmunden, RV Villach and London Rowing Club amongst others, who raced the course in 19:01.
Composite crews saw the majority of the top places in the event. The Masters B category was won by a crew containing no less than seven clubs, a remarkable feat in itself.
The fastest Women’s boat of the day was a strong crew from Tideway Scullers School who retained their headship and finished the course in an impressive 20:40.
Vesta had 3 crews racing in the competition, two Women’s Masters A crews and a Composite Masters F with Thames, Abingdon and London RC. The Composite Crew put on a good performance coming 3rd in their category in a field of 18.
The Women’s Masters A crew had a great day, racing in fancy dress. The “school girls” managed to finish second in their category and were the third fastest Women’s boat of the day. The Women had another guest appearance from Olympic Medal holder Sarah Winckless.
Veterans head showed a second strong performance for the rejuvenated Vesta Vets Squad that’s currently being championed by Captain James Hawkins.
Of course Vesta are indebted to the many people that gave up their Saturday to make Vesta’s Veteran’s Head of the River Race a huge success.
Jane Middleton reports on the novice women’s first crack at Women’s Head….
The Novice ladies squad were well prepared, we had trained hard, we were focused and we felt ready. Our coaches gave us the biggest race briefing of our novice existence. It was race day, this was it – it was now, this is what we had been working towards.
It was a huge relief when we finally left the pandemonium, threw our wellies in a bucket and got Tommy on the water. All that was left were some final photos, good luck messages from our awesome coaches Judith, Stuart, Kat and Leigh (all of whom resembled anxious parents sending their children off to boarding school for the first time) they could do nothing more now!
We rowed up to the start and had a 90 minute wait – it was painful and somewhat surreal but within that interminable wait we were calm and disciplined. Then suddenly it was time to spin and get underway…..in an instant we were pushing forward and cranking up the pace towards the starting post. The next 25 minutes passed by in a flash, we had got away cleanly, had gathered a strong steady pace as we reached Barnes Bridge and then the wind hit us. Mario steered us well through the course and it wasn’t long before we were approaching the island and then he had Hammersmith Bridge in his sights. The pace felt strong, confident and calm, we had long strokes, good clean catches, early squares and we weren’t rushing up the slide (for once). Hearing the roars of the crowd from Putney Embankment was unforgettable, the tanks were empty but the feeling of rowing past the Vesta balcony will never leave us from that infamous WEHORR experience.
We set off in position 293 and finished in position 261, which meant in real terms we were faster than 32 other boats of which 7 were in a higher category.
We did it and as we took Tommy back into the boathouse I for one felt we had become a true team…
Race report by Amelia Munsey, Masters A cox
Last weekend saw the 75th Women’s Eights Head of the River Race held on the Tideway. It is raced on the River Thames over 4 miles and 374 yards, from the start at the University Pole in Chiswick to the finish at Putney Pier. This year saw more than 300 crews compete from across the world.
The overall winners were a GB composite Elite 8+ who finished in a time of 18:58.6. The crew included Olympic gold medalists Helen Glover, Heather Stanning and Katherine Grainger, along with GB teammates.
The IM2 8+, coached by Nic Neveling and Chris Clements, placed 48th in a time of 22:00.2, beaten by only a handful of club IM2 crews.
The Masters A crew had a guest appearance from honorary lifetime member Sarah Winckless who helped the crew to achieve their impressive 41st place, making them the fastest Vesta boat of the day in a time of 21:48.0. Sarah Winckless herself is an Olympic medal holder and twice World Champion. This performance is a strong start for a rejuvenated vets squad, an initiative led by Captain James Hawkins.
The Novice women also had a good day finishing 10th out of the Novice club crews with a time of 25:05.4. The novice squad is coached by Judith Howell, Kat Burnell and Stewart Button, and their performance bodes well for the summer season and beyond.
Overall, I’m very proud to be part of a club where we have 3 womens’ 8s representing the club, not least with 2 of these finishing in the top 50. Well raced Vesta!
This year’s Vets Head is now open for entries – including for the first time some open, i.e. non-Masters, categories. [More details]
Tickets for the annual dinner, Friday 6th February, are selling well, but there are still some available.
If you’ve not bought yours yet, what are you waiting for? Go get yours now!
The 2015 Vets Head, unusually taking place the day before the Men’s HoRR due to tide and sunset times, will be raced in the traditional direction from Chiswick to Putney on Saturday 28 March, starting at 1100 GMT.
More information, when available, will be on the Vets Head page.