Vesta ladies enter Parliament (and eat very small sarnies)

By Kerry Evans

Rigging on the other side of the river

Rigging on the other side of the river

It was with no small amount of nerves that I arrived at Vauxhall station to take part in this year’s Parliamentary Boat Race (against Thames!) on the 10th of July.

After rigging Tommy our next challenge was to attempt to look glam in the matching t-shirts and caps we were to wear! Once we had made it across the very busy Vauxhall cross hauling an eight, we had to boat on some of the roughest water I had ever seen (up to that point in the day!) whilst dodging very grumpy Duck tour drivers!

So the adventure began! We spent about half an hour warming up, laughing, dodging waves and fruity remarks from a lively Molesey men’s eight!

We lined up with Thames and we were off! We were with them for a while at the start but it wasn’t long before they had the best of us – our secret weapon of a ‘tenth man’ (our 3 girl is 14 weeks pregnant at the time of the race!) was not enough to conquer the water or Thames on the day.

In the rough Julia is boss!

In the rough Julia is boss!

Race over – it was time for an amazing couple of hours rubbing shoulders with Lords, Ladies, MP’s and rowing types on the House of Lords riverside terrace! There was an amazing view of the Eye, champagne, tea, delicious mini sandwiches and cakes (I think food always tastes slightly better when it’s mini!) and as much strawberries and cream as you could eat!

The event was to not only raise awareness of rowing, but to raise money for charity. Once cheques had been handed out, an unexpected treat was a competitor’s medal presented by Lord Carey so apart from the blue blueness of the free kit, we will always have a memento of our day.

I think had we known what was to come next; we may have decided to leave a little earlier. The tide had turned and I think the row back was the closest I’ve ever come to ocean rowing (I had the theme to Captain Pugwash going round my head for a couple of hours after we got back!!). We took on so much water we had to ask some chaps to help us lift Tommy out of the Thames! More Duck Tour dodging and another trip across the road and it was all over bar the de-rigging of our noble steed!

All in all a great day with the girls and a fun thing to do on a Wednesday afternoon, thanks for the invitation Vesta!

Vesta member heading for Antarctica

If you think rowing on the Tideway can be chilly, fancy heading to Antarctica for the winter? Not a chance, thank you, but one of our members is on their way over right now on quite a high-profile expedition…Eric Reynolds writes:

I hope that you are warm and comfortable and that you will have a peaceful and prosperous 2013.

I am probably not going to be quite so warm as I am aboard the good ship SA Agulhas on route to Antarctica to deliver Ran Fiennes and his team onto the ice at the start of their attempt at the first ever crossing of the continent during the Polar winter.

The SA Agulhas

There are a bunch of good scientific and educational reasons for undertaking the Coldest Journey, plus of course the ‘boys own adventure’ side of things.

Very importantly we have a target of raising $10,000,000 for a charity called Seeing is Believing.

The expedition is a private enterprise (not government  sponsored) so we are scraping all the barrels in order to get there and with any luck back again.

So far we have raised sufficient to charter the ship and to pay for enough fuel to get started, but we might get stuck in the Southern Ocean unless we can raise some more while we are away.

If you would like to help get us back – every £1 donated puts a litre in the tank. is the easy way to contribute.

Any surplus raised over cost will be matched by Standard Chartered bank and will be used to help those who cannot see in Africa and India.  More information on the adventure and the aims at

I can’t promise to bring you back a piece of ice but if you click to donate and email me that you have I will arrange for a Ran signed thank you to be sent to you.

Very best wishes


The Coldest Journey logo

Movember – update week 2

’30 Days have September, April, June & MOVEMBER…’

which means on Thursday, we will have reached the halfway mark for those participating in this month’s feat of top lip topiary! Mockery and itchiness are now a daily occurrence…sadly though donations are not.
Please back the guys taking part for this worthwhile cause to from now until the Annual Dinner when the culmination of a month’s worth of growing will be on display.

Make a donation here.

Monies go to Prostate Cancer UK and the Institute of Cancer Research. You can learn more about Movember here.

In the meantime, here’s the Week 2 progress photo from Steve:
Movember Week 2 Report
I’m conscious that the full detail of growth isn’t completely perceptible at this resolution, so I have taken the trouble to show you a close up of the ‘lengths’ the boys are going to in their cultivation:
Movember Close Up

The curliness is quite impressive!

Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s installment!