Scullers Head to offer para-rowing categories

The Scullers Head, the largest single scull processional race in the world, is for the very first time offering para-rowing events. The 61st edition of the race, which is organised by Vesta Rowing Club, will be held on 29th November on the Championship Course from Mortlake to Putney.

Entries have now opened on BROE and organisers are hoping to attract enough LTA and TA entries to run these events, for both men and women.

“We’re not the first Tideway head race to offer para-rowing categories, but we hope to be the first to actually hold them – getting enough entries is critical to making this happen. Para-rowing is on the increase in the UK and while we have fantastic success at the GB level, we’d love to see more events available for club scullers,” said Vesta Rowing Club Chairman, Chris Harrison.

Previous winners of the event include Sir Steve Redgrave, Mahe Drysdale, Alan CampbellBeth Rodford and Imogen Walsh. The GB Rowing Team’s Walsh, 2011 Scullers Head winner and 2013 Wingfield Sculls winner, said, “It’s such an iconic race, 500 odd boats giving it all they’ve got down the tideway. There aren’t many head races where you get to line up and test yourself against so many other scullers, and it’s part of what puts it on the bucket list of races for many rowers. It’s about line and position, about pacing yourself and knowing when to push, as well as how technically well you scull – it’s a true test of sculling the river. I only wish I got to race it more often!”

Race categories this year include all open and Masters categories, as well as events for Lightweights, J18s and Masters Novices along with LTA and TA. The race attracts over 500 entries, making it one of the largest single division sculling races in the world. Where exactly the para-rowing categories will be included in the much-heralded draw will be established depending on the entries received, and those interested should contact the organisers on to discuss logistics. Final details will be included in the instructions to competitors, to be published in early November. Entries close on 15th November or when 550 paid entries have been received.

Follow this year’s Scullers Head:
Twitter: @scullershead

By Martha Walsh 

This article originally appeared on the British Rowing website.

Rusty Williams confirmed as Vesta’s new Director of Rowing

Former GB coach Rusty Williams has confirmed that he will be Vesta’s new Director of Rowing for the 2014/15 season, overseeing coach and athlete development and training.

Rusty’s appointment follows a markedly successful year for the Vesta senior men’s squad which saw three boats pre-qualify for Henley Royal Regatta, with the coxed four competing until the Saturday and wins at Wallingford, Metropolitan and Reading Regattas. He has also previously assisted the Vesta senior women’s squad, which between 2010-12 won successive events at Henley Women’s Regatta.

Rusty will be overseeing a strong coaching team for 2014/15 with thirteen coaches already confirmed. These include: Nick Ireland, Tony Reynolds, Helen Grey, and Andy MacMillan coaching the senior men’s squad; Nic Neveling, Ray Sullivan and Chris Clements coaching the senior women’s squad; Martin Graham, Wendy Armstrong and Alex Foreman looking after the novice men and Judith Howell, Stewart Button and Harriet Caldwell-Nichols the novice women – with a few more names to be confirmed.

Vesta’s 2014/15 season starts early September with the senior women’s introductory meeting taking place on Wednesday 3rd September (at 7pm at Vesta), senior men the following day on the 4th with rowing starting on Saturday 6th September for both squads. The novice squads have their introductory meeting on Thursday 11th September (at 7pm at Vesta) with the novice men starting on Saturday 13th September and the novice women a week later on Saturday 20th September. Please keep looking at our website and twitter account for further updates and contact details or any questions you may have. It already looks to be an exciting year ahead!

Vesta Rowing Club is running new men’s and women’s novice / beginner squads for the 2014/15 season


Want to learn to row? Beginner rowers are invited to join our men’s and women’s novice rowing squads kicking off this September in Putney, London. The best bit is that the first month is free!



Who – can join?

We are looking for individuals with the desire and attitude to become ambitious club rowers or coxes. You will need to have a good base level of fitness, be aged 18 or over, be able to swim and some previous experience of competitive sport is a definite advantage.

What – is rowing and Vesta like?

Vesta is a mixed, very friendly, welcoming club, with a great fleet of boats and an excellent bar! We are a true members club run by volunteers. There is every opportunity to progress in the club based on your merit (and your willingness to enjoy the club’s social life!).

Rowing is the ultimate team sport and is highly competitive.  It requires high levels of fitness and strength combined with technique and so consistent attendance at training is important to progress. If you like the idea of testing yourself and working in a team to achieve goals then rowing is definitely the sport for you!

Where – do you train?

There will be regular land training sessions based at the club on Putney Embankment and weekend sessions on the water. At Vesta, you’ll have access to our gym, quality boat fleet and a dedicated coaching team.


Novice Squads kick-off meeting: Thursday 11th September @ 7pm (upstairs in the club)

Men’s Novice squad first session: Saturday 13th September

Women’s Novice squad first session: Saturday 20th September

The season runs from September – July with both winter and summer racing.

The first month is FREE and designed to find those with the potential to succeed in rowing. Membership fees are approximately £450 for the year.


If you have any questions or would like to register your interest in advance, please contact

Novice Men’s Coach, Martin Graham:

Novice Women’s Coach, Judith Howell:

Interested in joining Vesta?

The 2014/2014 season kick-off dates for each squad is as follows:

Senior women intro meeting: Wednesday 3 September, 7pm

Senior men intro: Thursday 4 September, 7pm

Senior squads start: Saturday 6 September, 7am

Novice men and women intro meeting: Thursday 11 September, 7pm

If you are curious about any of our squads and what they involve, all are invited to come along to to the club to meet the coaches at the intro meetings. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact:

Novice and Masters winning streak continues at Twickenham

IM3 4+

Vesta had two wins out of two at Twickenham Regatta. The four from the novice squad who won their novice pots by a foot at Putney Town last week continued their strong form by winning IM3 at Twickenham. With a little help from super-sub Hawkeye, and with Debs steering instead of Wendy, they beat Twickenham and then Royal Holloway to win their second pots. Congratulations to the crew of Debs Croshaw (cox), Sean Hegarty (stroke), James Hawkins, George Clements, Stephen Tate.

Paul Mew also continued his impressive form with a comfortable win over Putney Town with Zena Howard in the Mixed Masters Doubles. This followed on from the successful previous weekend when he beat “Rocket” Roy Brook, a reigning world champion indoor rower from LRC, at Putney Town Regatta on Saturday and then won the gold medal in the Masters G 1x at the National Masters Championships at Holme Pierrepoint on the next day. Three wins in three events over two weekend is not bad going for him.

Paul and Zena

Congratulations also to Kat Hedges and Anna Brown who won Mas A W 2- at the National Masters and to the mens senior squad who won IM2 8+ at Putney Town.