The Remenham Challenge offered the first opportunity for all the Vesta squads to test themselves in eights this season, with ten boats representing the club. For some this meant a first ever race, while others it was a checking point for the year ahead. There were some solid results all round against strong opposition from the other Remenham clubs and, for the first time Wadham College.
The Senior Women particularly impressed, with the first boat winning the Intermediate category, and less than two seconds from taking the scalp of Thames Elite eight. There was no doubt of the club with the best support at the prize giving ceremony, with the roar as their win was announced in Thames Rowing Club by far the loudest of the day. Catherine Long, four seat in the first boat reflected:
“We had a strong race where the main aim was to keep the Molesey and Thames boats off. With the noise and support from Vesta cheers we had a huge push off Hammersmith Bridge. It was a well earnt win for our top boat and our results secure our place as one of the top women’s squads on the tideway and the new ‘ones to watch’”
The Second Boat was equally chasing down fellow tideway crews, shining bright in their pink base layers, and were rewarded with fourth place finish in the Women’s Intermediate category. We hear the pink may well see a revival for the Vets Head.
The Men’s squad, hit slightly by absence and illness, still recorded some credible results, with the first boat finishing in fourth place in the Intermediate category. Having chased down the London RC boat in front of them, they were unfortunately unable to turn the screw, overtake and push on, something they will look to put right in the coming head races. The second crew hit a solid row to finish within 20 seconds of the first crew, a margin they will be looking to maintain and reduce as both crews move forwards in 2018.
There were two crews representing the Novice Women, an impressive achievement in itself, and they will no doubt be proud of their achievements. The first crew finished in second place in the Novice Women’s category, just behind Thames Rowing Club, and also triumphing over a Staines Masters Women’s crew. Whilst they may have recorded the slowest time of the day, the second crew will take pride in completing their first race despite the majority only taking up the sport two months previous.
The Novice Men have written their own account of the race, which you can find here. They had two boats racing, one development boat in the Intermediate category, and the other in Novice. The Development crew finished just three seconds of the winners in the Novice Men’s category and 15 off the Senior Men’s second boat.
Vesta also had two masters’ boats competing. The “Young Vets” finished in a very respectable time to achieve a time adjusted 6th place in the category. They were just pipped by the slightly older vets competing in a composite boat with Thames, who finished in 5th place, three seconds ahead of the younger boat after time adjustment.