Strong start to the summer at Wallingford
Wallingford regatta saw a strong statement of intent from Vesta crews, with promising early season results to build on through the summer. This included a win in Women’s Challenge Coxless Fours, which will earn the crew members a prestigious Vesta Red Cap for winning in the highest category. The women followed this up with a second place finish in the Women’s Challenge Eights, finishing as the top club eight. On the men’s side, the coxed four also established themselves as contenders for the rest of the season with a third place finish in the Challenge event.
In total Vesta had 14 crews racing, showing the strength and depth in both the Men’s and Women’s squads, with many athletes making their first appearance in a multi-lane regatta.
The top women’s coxless four set the tone for the day by registering the fastest heat time by almost ten seconds. The other two Vesta crews also showed the strength in depth of the squad, registering competitive times with the B crew just missing out on reaching the final with a third place finish in the repechage. In the final the A crew dominated from the start, reaching a lead of 3 seconds by the 500m mark before going on to take the event in impressive fashion, 8 seconds ahead of the pack. As winners of the Lorcha Challenge Cup, Robyn McGreggor-Ritchie, Ruther McKellar, Lousia Emkes, and Jamie-Rose Larkin will earn the prestigious Vesta Red Cap for winning in the highest category.
On the men’s side, the draw was not kind to the Challenge Coxed Four, who were up against the all-conquering St Paul’s School in the heat. They were unfortunate to be pipped at the line by less than a second in a tough race, meaning the extra toil of a repechage in the searing afternoon heat. Whilst they came through this test, they were not able to push St Paul’s quite as hard in the final, finishing in 3rd place behind Tideway Scullers School. None the less, they showed exceptional promise for a crew that will no doubt be competitive towards the business end of the season.
Riding high on their earlier success, the Women’s squad embarked on their eights heat in a similarly impressive manner to the four, overcoming a challenge from near neighbours Thames to win by two seconds. They did an exceptional job of holding off the Thames crew in the final, ensuring they were the fastest club eight by just 0.25 seconds, despite this being the fourth race of the day for many in the crew. Unfortunately they came up against an exceptionally well drilled and fresh Lady Eleanor Holles School in the final, finishing second overall.
Only 2 of the 14 crews racing finished in the bottom two in their heat, emphasising the strength in depth across the club. Of these the Development Men will have taken great experience from their first multi-lane regatta, whilst the other was due to illness in the crew. There was also a final appearance of the Women’s Club Double, finishing a credible 5th and a repechage appearance for the Men’s Club Coxed Four.
Full results are available here