Vesta wins Best Dressed Crew at this years’ Veterans Head of the River Race

Race report by Amelia Munsey, Masters A cox

Over 200 crews took to the Thames on Saturday 28 March for the 2015 edition of the Vesta Veterans’ Head of the River. The weather stayed pleasant and not too windy, despite concerns from the weather reports!

The race was won by the Austrian Alumni, a crew containing representatives from RV Gmunden, RV Villach and London Rowing Club amongst others, who raced the course in 19:01.

Composite crews saw the majority of the top places in the event. The Masters B category was won by a crew containing no less than seven clubs, a remarkable feat in itself.

The fastest Women’s boat of the day was a strong crew from Tideway Scullers School who retained their headship and finished the course in an impressive 20:40.

Vesta had 3 crews racing in the competition, two Women’s Masters A crews and a Composite Masters F with Thames, Abingdon and London RC. The Composite Crew put on a good performance coming 3rd in their category in a field of 18.

The Women’s Masters A crew had a great day, racing in fancy dress. The “school girls” managed to finish second in their category and were the third fastest Women’s boat of the day. The Women had another guest appearance from Olympic Medal holder Sarah Winckless.

vesta vets head

Veterans head showed a second strong performance for the rejuvenated Vesta Vets Squad that’s currently being championed by Captain James Hawkins.

Of course Vesta are indebted to the many people that gave up their Saturday to make Vesta’s Veteran’s Head of the River Race a huge success.

2015 Vets Head

The 2015 Vets Head, unusually taking place the day before the Men’s HoRR due to tide and sunset times, will be raced in the traditional direction from Chiswick to Putney on Saturday 28 March, starting at 1100 GMT.

More information, when available, will be on the Vets Head page.

Vets Head 2013 Part Refund

At its wash-up meeting, the Vets Head committee reviewed the accounts of the race and decided that it will offer a partial refund of race fees in light of our to need to cancel the 2013 edition of the race.
As competitors will realise there are numerous obligatory expenses incurred in staging any race. As organisers we also appreciate the efforts and expenses that our competitors incur in order to participate. After due consideration of the amounts left over from the race, the committee is offering crews a 50% refund of the £85 entry fee.
Entrants do have a choice, though: you can claim a direct refund now or opt to carry forward the refund to obtain a 50% discount on an entry for next year’s race. Given we have 124 clubs providing entries, we would prefer, if at all possible, to make a single refund per club
Please send an email to informing us of your choice. When emailing could you please include the following information:
* your race number and/or the BROE entry id for the crew/crews for which you are claiming
* your identity (if you were not the submitting BROE entries secretary listed for the entry) i.e. Club Captain.
* whether you want to claim a refund or a discount for 2014
* please try to group the requests from your club into one repayment, if possible.
* if a refund could you provide bank details (sort-code and account number for a UK bank, IBAN/SWIFT details for international transfers).
* we would prefer not to generate cheques, but will do so if absolutely necessary. If so, please provide a mailing address for us to send it to.
Organising Committee for the Vesta Veterans Head.
March 27, 2013.

Vets Head cancelled due to poor weather conditions

In light of the forecast weather conditions for Sunday, we have regrettably taken the decision to cancel the 2013 Vesta Veterans Head.

Further details will follow.

The Head of the River race is also cancelled tomorrow, BUT the Vesta party will go on! As Judith says, is the pope catholic? Be prepared for boat races of the drinking variety…

Vesta Vets Head Draw now online

Less than two weeks until we race!

The 2013 provisional draw is now available.

Plus all the race instructions are available on our Vets Head event page.

Visiting the Vesta Veterans’ Head from Europe?

We have navigation guides in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Please see the information for visiting overseas crews on the right hand side of the draw page. This is available courtesy of British Rowing Thames Regional Rowing Council.


New! Race Instructions for Vesta International Veterans’ Head

The following documents are now available. See the main information page for the full race details.


  1. Tideway Navigation Chart
  2. General Instructions
  3. Marshalling diagrams
  4. Key Info – if you only have a minute – READ THIS ONE!

Entries are open until 10th March so don’t miss out!

Race T-Shirt!

rtb-vetshead-tshirtAlso the Official Race T-shirt is now available from Rock The Boat. To purchase please click here.












Vesta International Veterans’ Head

thames-viewVesta International Veterans Head of the River Race will be held on Sunday 24th March 2013, starting at 13:30 GMT and racing from Mortlake to Putney.

Entries will open in early February.

See this website and BROE for more details.


Vesta Triumphant in Vet’s Head

The battleground was chosen and as high noon drew close, the meanest cowboys in the (south)west came to meet the bravest Indians on the tideway. The Vet’s head had never seen such a battle before, the stakes were high- honour, pride and of course bragging rights for the year…scratch crews were formed and the Indians lined up at number 179 to be chased down the course by the Cowboys at 185.

The Indians had a surprise standing start after crews in front just weren’t quick enough off the draw- the charge was led to Barnes Bridge with 4 crews passed and only the Italians not understanding the roar of the Big Chief cox to ‘move out of my water’. The feather’s proved to be aerodynamic as we faced a headwind for a good chunk to Hammersmith, but having Thames right behind us and the threat of the cowboys charging down after that meant that the battle cries from Big Chief pushed everyone through to pass another 3 crews. Thames put in a good fight, but it was not enough, the dying headwind and a new start off Hammersmith bridge meant the Indians charged the rest of the way down the course home to finish fastest women of the day, 55th overall and Vet A winners well clear of any opposition.

Crew: (Big Chief to Little Running Water); Julia Hedley (cox), Emily Trant (s), Natalie Prew, Stine Keys, Anna Brown, Kat Astley, Rahma Barclay, Athene McGregor-MacDonald, Sybille Schorm (b)

Observing the marshalls’ lengthy efforts to corrall the 4th division above Chiswick bridge, the cowboys thought about lending their lasso to hurry things along, however at long last we were pointing in the right direction – albeit halted opposite Putney Town steps. From a standing start, the cowboys leapt into action and by the power of our fine bushy moustaches we started hunting down the opposition. Now we know why men have Movember: the power of the “mo” was epic, definitely giving the scratch crew the oomph needed to overhaul two Vet A crews and a handful of mixed-masters. Facial hair and glittery cowboy hats rippling in the breeze of our top racing speed, we were whipped into action by head-honcho-in-the-poncho Ro, who has perhaps found the key to sitting comfortably in the cox seat of a filippi VIII: a giant, semi-inflated cactus. Passing our last crew at Hammersmith Bridge (where stern advice from cox’n Thompson was given to “use your rudder!!”) we rode through a vacuum to the finish line – closing down all the time on the crazy in’juns – but despite hot pursuit the little critters were just too fast for us, and we finished a little saddle sore but pleased with a strong performance, coming third in Vet A behind the Vesta Injuns and the Wehorr-winning Thames crew. There has to be a better way to settle this anyway… water pistols at dawn! YEE-HAW!

Crew: (Quick draw to bucking bronco); Rohanne Thompson (cox), Ellie Dorman (s), Kitty Lowings, Emma Dyson, Kat Hedges, Natalie Demblon, Aga Siemiginowska, Isabelle Laliberté, Martha Walshy Kelly.

Not forgetting our Vet men who went off at 114, racing Vet E, and wisely avoided fancy dress to finish a very respectable 134th and 35th in their category.

Pictures to follow shortly!