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.

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

Richmond Regatta Results

Mas C 4x

Two masters crews represented the club at Richmond Amateur Regatta on Saturday 29th June. A Mas C 4x of Paul Mew, Michael Maynard, Bijan Hedayati  and Fred Bead had a solid scull in a straight final but could not get back the lead they gave to the older Ardingly crew off the start.

The Mas B 4+ crew of Phil Longstaff, Dave Gibney, Bryan Williams, Fred Beaud and Verity Ansell (cox) had a good start in the semi-final against X-Press BC of Cambridge and had the lead going into the final bend, but a slight wobble let the other crew take a close win.

Mas B 4+

Mas B 4+

Vesta at the Masters Champs

Fred Beaud travelled up to Nottingham for the British Masters Championships on Sunday 19th May to race in the MAS.C 1x (Championships) and MAS.C 1x (IM.3).

He reports:

It was sunny and very calm (almost no wind) at Holme Pierrpoint: beautiful conditions for multi-lane racing. [Wow! Lucky lucky lucky – never seen much of that myself at HP – Ed.]

In the MAS.C 1x (Championships) I didn’t make it through the heat, finding myself too far behind most of the contenders. A small consolation was that in the other heat three were slower than me, but not quite fast enough to make it to the finals.

In the MAS.C 1x (IM.3) Vesta umpire Sinead started the race and I finished 3rd in the final, with the first three boats coming in within two seconds. It was a good battle up to the finish line, but gutting that I was overtaken in the last 100 metres.

Overall it was a very good experience and I had some satisfaction in my sculling (better than Borne @ Chiswick), despite a big disappointment not winning the IM.3 final, which was achievable. I met a couple of people I knew from the Tideway (Tideway Scullers, Quintin, London…) and did my bit promoting Vesta, but people did notice I was the only representative from our club – something to improve next year as it is worth it.

 

 

Vets Open Summer Racing Season with Gold

Paul and Roy celebrate with an obligatory pint

Congratulations to Paul Mew and new member Roy Brook on winning Mas F 2x at Borne at Chiswick Regatta to claim the club’s first win of the summer. In Roy’s first ever regatta they defeated the home Mortlake  crew after a re-row. Rowing in heavy rain Vesta were behind on the start but came back and the crews were neck and neck when the race was stopped with 200m to go due to a huge wash from the rescue boat. The second race was very close but in the end Paul and Roy’s superior fitness showed and they won by a length.

It’s a double celebration for Roy who also won his category at the British and European Indoor Rowing Championship held at the NEC on 25th March. Roy finished first out of 19 to claim the 60 to 64 year old Hwt Mens category in a time of 6.50.0 which has put down a solid marker for the rest of the Masters squad.

To see the splits of the race, please click here (thanks Concept2!).