A small group of scullers came away with two wins after making the journey to north London to represent the club at the Lea Autumn regatta in the traditional end to the summer season.
Michael Hughes and Jon Brown raced in the IM2 1x and IM3 1x respectively, Big Jon qualified for the final after an impressive heat but lost to a strong Bewl/Exeter Uni sculler. They teamed up for the IM2 2x and after winning the heat, the gunship won a closely fought final.
Peter Simpson convincing won the Masters C 1x against Erith before doubling up with Janet Simpson in the mixed masters B 2x where they lost to a powerful local crew.
Paul Mew beat David Wright from UTRC in a heat of the Masters F 1x only to be disqualified for steering and therefore missing out on a certain pot in the final. He then teamed up with David in a VRC/UTRC composite to defend the Lea Autumn Masters E 2x but they were unfortunately out-gunned in a close race by the national champions from Poplar.
Very sad news regarding Ross, he was a part of the Men’s Senior Squad for some of the year last season, before he returned to university. A big guy and a bigger character, he will be missed.
Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
There was a particularly competitive scent in the air this Blackstaffe Day, with last year’s winners of the mixed doubles event being granted special permission to defend their title. A number of love boats fancied their chances against the reigning champions and by popular demand the rule preventing previous winning crews from entering in subsequent years was lifted. Harry and Charlie showed no signs of giving in (did they even break a sweat?) and cruised to victory in the final against Kitty and Nick Ireland.
The mixed eights event saw a controversial win for the crew of six men and two women over three evenly matched crews. But as Caster Semenya has proved, gender is just something that’s written on your birth certificate. The focus then turned to boat-naming, where Trevor finally named four of the fleet of launches he has kindly purchased for the club over the years. Formerly affectionately known as 199, 299 and so on, they were baptised with a splash of champagne and dedicated to longstanding deceased Vesta members.
And so the fleet was named:
The celebration continued well into the night with the senior women’s long-awaited 90s party, featuring guest appearances from Ab Fab, Where’s Wally, Baywatch, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pulp Fiction, The Matrix… all fuelled by copious amounts of Archers, blue WKDs and Bacardi Breezers. But it was all too much for some.
It didn’t look good when Mark was de-rigging his single after only the first race, but it had got much better by the last race of the regatta when Ryan Kane, Jeremy Rose, Chris Joynes and Will Laffan were celebrating victory by one foot in the IM1 (yes, IM1) 4- final.
(Photo courtesy of Tim Hodges, in case you hadn’t guessed.)
In the meantime a record number of crews had qualified for finals and there were four Vesta wins in the W IM2 4x, the IM3 4+ , IM2 1x and IM1 4- categories.
The club’s sculling fraternity deserves a special mention: in a large entry of Vesta scullers Harry Bond lost the Elite final against a GB sculler in Mahe Drysdale’s boat by only one foot and in a close Vesta/Vesta final Jeremy Burke beat Michael Hughes by just three feet. In a race that looked like the master craftsman was passing on his trade to the young apprentice, the master was lucky to win in the very last few metres of the race.
Congratulations to the novice, sorry senior, four that won IM1 4- on the very last stroke to win their second pots in a week. Novice at Staines, IM1 at HT&V – a fantastic result!