Maidenhead Regatta

Kat Hedges raced for Vesta at Maidenhead regatta with her old club, EERC, at the weekend, and they won WMasters A/B/C quads and WMasters C 4+ over the 500m course on Saturday.

The winning crew afterwards having celebration beers!

The winning crew afterwards having celebration beers!

Both winning verdicts were over 2 lengths, which given the short course is a fair distance for a previously untried combo. To quote Kat,  “I love Masters racing.”

Vesta also raced in a Mixed 4x and a Mixed 2x racing on Saturday at Maidenhead. Paul Mew and Zena were entered in IM2 mixed doubles, in Paul’s words, “rather ambitiously”. In fact, they had a decent race with good steering but didn’t have the power to beat Eton Excelsior.

The masters mixed quad (Anna, Deb, Bryan and Bijan) had a problem on the way to the start. The steering shoe came away from the footplate so Bijan had to complete the race rather cautiously with no steering. The trailed way behind as a result.

Vesta’s crews were cheered up by tea and the best cakes ever at the regatta enclosure where they watched Kat win.

Thanks to Kat and Paul for sending in new their contributions.

Winging it and winning a bit at Henley Masters

by Kat Hedges

So after months of preparation, a rigorous selection procedure, endless hours on the water, it was time for that race that we train ALL year for…. Vets Henley! After a slightly stunted start with Gemma being unable to locate any kit, Kat running late and initially only Emma in Henley possessing no tools to start rigging the boat, it was a miracle we made it to the start line on time!

However, we made it… Masters A quads first up and we had drawn Marlow first round. Considering this was our maiden voyage as a full crew we were pleasantly surprised to be up off the start and with some great motivational calls from Kat, we managed to cling onto the lead, winning by a canvas. Despite a gutsy row, unfortunately we lost to Guildford by 1.25 lengths in the final, however considering our opposition had raced and won senior quads at HWR, we weren’t too disappointed.

The crew then split into a Masters A 2x (Gemma and Emma) and 2- (Kat and Helen). Unfortunately Kat and Emma both fell victim to the lure of the booms (quickly recovered) and lost their races; however, a weekend of glorious weather, good food and great company made up for the overall lack of medals!

[no suggestion of a training schedule for next year, then Kat ;-)]

Fred’s surprise leaving do

The masters squad held a surprise reception for Fred Beaud of Tuesday 25th June and presented him with a club blazer to thank him for his extraordinary contribution to club life over the past three years. Fred joined Vesta when he relocated from Lyons to London and unfortunately he now has to return to France with his employer.

In his time with the club Fred was always keen to row any crew and leaves with three regatta wins and good placings in the Scullers’ Head and other events. He has helped organize the masters group and has give much good advice on and off the water. We wish him, Soline and their children good luck in Lyons and look forward to welcoming them back at club events in the future.

The Mixed Vets squad honour their club-mate

The Mixed Vets squad honour their club-mate

Bryan writes:

Fred Beaud, the dapper little Frenchman, will be leaving us in a couple of weeks to return to France with his family. To show our appreciation our squad threw him a surprise leaving party last Tuesday 25th June.

Fred and I have trained, competed and, above all, supported each other during the past three years and I cannot think of a more highly regarded person within our squad – he is kind, dedicated yet always finds time to help others with their training.

Fred and I formed the mixed vet squad just under a year ago. Well, it sort of happened organically, one Saturday morning when we were a body short for an outing and Peter suggested we ask Sophie who was in the gym. From there Sophie mentioned it to Lisette and so the mixed vet squad grew in size and in strength.

We are a dedicated, happy squad who enjoy our rowing, are keen to improve, take our training seriously on the water, debrief  but don’t get het up beyond that! Our availability is noted on a Thursday, crews are organized on a Friday and outings are planned for the Saturday and Sunday and we organize our own weekday land training and outings at the club.

We are a bit short on bow steers  at the moment, especially now that Fred is leaving us, but we are confident that this will change for next season. (Actually, we don’t have a season as we are planning to train through the summer to take part in the late summer regattas!)
We welcome members from within the club (ex seniors) unless there are special circumstances – i.e. someone from outside who wants to come down and coach us.

If you have an interest in joining the squad, please drop me a line: bryan.williams099@gmail.com

Anyway, back to the surprise party…

Fred and I did a gym and erg session whilst everyone had been informed to go up the outside staircase so as not to be noticed. During our session Fred had to go upstairs to get some water and later on to go to the loo and like a lovesick puppy I followed him everywhere! I then made up some cock and bull story that an outside coach was visiting us and wanted to see us in the bar at 7.30pm.

When I was given the all clear that everyone had arrived for the party I told Fred that the coach was here and we were to go up to see him now. I also said that Alex had insisted we could not go into the bar area in our kit.
“But why?”, protested the confused Frenchman, “When we are going out for ze outing straight afterwards?”

“Ah, it’s Henley fortnight”, I countered, “And it’s traditional to be in proper civvies at all times in the bar during this time. We can put our kit back on after the meeting”.

He was even more perplexed when he saw David splashing on some aftershave.
“What are you doing, Davide? Why are you putting on perfume for ze coach??”

I then led the dressed but confused Frenchman into the bar where, to his surprise, his friends and wife launched into ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’ before Jock gave a marvellous send off speech. We then presented Fred with a Vesta blazer which we all chipped in for. Drinks flowed and lovely food (supplied by Fred’s wife, Soline) was enjoyed. We did the leave the club very late. I won’t say what time exactly except that a few people did turn into pumpkins!

Wear your Vesta blazer with pride, Fred and remember us petit ros beoufs here in the drizzle. We hope we have done our bit in strengthening Anglo – French relationships!
We shall miss you but hopefully this is just a bientot and not au revoir.

Bryan Williams