Vesta women take on Henley this weekend

HWR Medal

Henley Women's Regatta Medal

Henley Women’s Regatta June 15 – 17, Henley.

Vesta will head to Henley in force for the most prestigious event in their summer racing calendar. Both the development and senior women’s squads will attempt to qualify an Intermediate 4+ each on Friday.  Saturday will see the first round of side-by-side racing, with Vesta competing in an Intermediate 8+, Senior 8+, Elite 8+ and Elite 2-. Sunday will also feature the first round of racing for an Elite 4- and Elite LW 4- and, we hope, some semi-finals and finals for our club crews.

There are more than the usual number of overseas crews visiting this year, meaning competition will be tight especially in the Senior 8s and Elite 8s, with 15 and seven crews entered respectively.

The full draw and timetable can be found by clicking here. (There will also be twitter updates throughout the weekend. I think it’s #henley_women’s).

Henley Women’s Regatta

Vesta had a great run at Henley Women’s Regatta impressively reaching two finals.

Coxed four

The intermediate coxed four of Vics Mcleod-More, Aga Siemiginowska, Emily Druce and Natasha Henderson-Ross with Andrew MacMillan coxing did well to qualify in a strong field. Sadly, they then lost to eventual finalists City of Oxford in the first round.

Eight racing

The eight of Verity Ansell, Sarah Wood, Anna Barkensjo, Charlie Dempster, Gaby Turner, Rahma Barclay, Emily Trant and Kitty Lowings coxed by Ross Martin did particularly well, storming through the time trial and all three rounds on the way to the final with some close races on the way (including a canvas win over Putney Town in the second round).

In the final they came up against a very strong York City crew who had posted similar times to Vesta during the regatta. Throughout the race York had to pull out all the stops to repel Vesta pushes again and again, but they just managed to hold on and went on to win by a length.

Coxless four

The Elite coxless four of Anna Storrs, Kat Hedges, Mary Donovan and Becki Helson faced an incredibly tough field but after a determined fight and some interesting steering from both crews they clawed out a lead of a length and a quarter in their semi to become the second Vesta crew this year to make a HWR final. In the final they sadly lost out to a fierce Molesey crew which included some GB triallists.

Freya Johnstone put in a gutsy row down the course up until the halfway point, where she lost her lead on her opponent in the lightweight singles heat.

All in all, although it’s gutting to come so close to a win, reaching two HWR finals is a phenomenal achievement for the squad and congratulations must go to the athletes and especially to the coaches Matt Gilliver, Paul Fitzwilliam, Jessica Essex and the guest coaches such as Rusty Williams.