Vesta men’s ‘A’ crew won the IM.2 pennant at Kingston Head on Saturday afternoon and came 2nd overall in the division. Well done guys! Our second crew also came 4th in their category and the first novice crew were the 5th fastest novices. The novice men also raced well at Hammersmith.
In light of the dazzling 3rd place and club pennant the ladies won, we haven’t mentioned much about the other women’s crews that raced at WeHORR last weekend, but the results show it was a storming performance by the women’s squad, yet again being one of the strongest clubs in the country, and with a change of coaching personnel. Bravo! Our IM.2 ‘C’ crew were 3rd in their category, hanging on the coat tails of the IM.1 ‘B’ crew who were 5th in theirs. The girls are showing real strength in depth.
Finally the men’s head draw is available for Saturday here. The ‘A’ crew is starting 51st and racing in the IM.2 category, so that will be a good, ripping race for the guys, who I am sure have the bit between their teeth after last weekend. The ‘B’ crew is also racing IM.2 and will be bidding for a top 100 place and closing the gap on their squad-mates. Vesta also has a novice VIII racing starting at 183, which will be a very exciting day for these guys. You’ve earned your place, go and race it!
On Sunday, for Vesta’s own Vets Head, we have four Vesta crews and one composite. See the draw here. We’ve got two Women’s Masters A (how will they step up from the cowboys and indians last year? That will be something to see I think!) plus an open and mixed masters crew. The composite is an unknown to me, so that might be one to watch!
Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to update me on your results or upcoming races and please send me photos and the names of crew members so I can name-check you! Thanks, Cheryl
Anyone who has walked through the club over the past several months has no doubt seen the Vesta women training hard and training often. Last Saturday, the women were finally able to ‘cash in’ all the hard work, which resulted in the best WEHORR performance in Vesta’s history:
Women’s Senior Squad:
Vesta RC A 4th Overall (3rd Fastest Domestic Crew Overall)
Vesta RC B 16th Overall (Fastest 2nd 8 in event and fastest Domestic Elite Crew)
Vesta RC C 28th Overall (Fastest 3rd 8 in event)
Vesta RC D 77th Overall (Fastest 4th 8 in event)
Women’s Development Squad:
Vesta RC F 181st Overall (improved on starting position by 114 places beating 50 non-novice crews)
Vesta RC E 248th Overall (only lost a few places despite kit failures and the heaviest cox in the event)
A huge congrats to all the girls and coaches, and all the Vesta volunteers and members who provide the support to make results like this possible. Below are the race recaps from each of the Senior crews. Enjoy!
Pushing off from the Vesta hard at exactly 10am the Vesta A crew had one Ambition, to race hard, row fast and come in the top 10. Arriving in the marshalling area there was time for a quick drink and relax; the calm before the storm. Paddling off 15th,one behind a strong Molsey WCS crew and two behind old rivals from Quintin Head, Durham Uni, the chase was on. Off the start long and strong, Molsey had a lead of 1 1/2 lengths. Using the advantage of being able to see the VRC crew coming the MBC girls put in a good fight before being overtaken off the end of the Island. Flying through Hammersmith Bridge with a perfect racing line the Vesta crew honed in on the Durham crew, now only a length away. Cox Ro’s nerves of steel held off an aggressive push from the Durham cox who attempted to get back her line at Barn Elms, and kept the girls flying in the stream towards home. Fuelled by the crowd on the Vesta balcony the last 50 strokes saw the A boat pass the Durham crew and collapse in a heap on the finishing line. Rock On. The official result was 4th, in a time of 20:25.
The “B for Ballsy” crew line-up consisted the two Helens (Edwards and Ellison), Anna, Aga, Vicky, Rahma, Martha and Sybille, coxed by Julia, and after coming third in Hammersmith W&J Head the crew were excited about tackling the full course. Starting at number 28, we enjoyed taking our first scalp (Queen’s University Belfast) as we exited Chiswick Bridge – despite easying twice on the approach to give them room. With Barnes Bridge Ladies on our tail we set off to hunt down Latymer, inching closer until we succeeded in moving through them just after Hammersmith Bridge. Sitting up into the head wind along Harrod’s Wall, our next targets were Imperial C and Thames B, and we shortened the gap to only a couple of lengths, all the while as BBL crept closer. A final push along the embankment, fired up by the famous Vesta roar, helped to empty the last drops in the tanks, and a finish place of 16th – the highest Vesta B crew finish ever, and the highest B crew finish in the event. We were also pleased to hold off all schoolgirls, including the only GB crew in the event (under 18s). Robust debate over a few bottles of Cava later on centred around whether we deserved a pennant, being the first non-overseas elite crew home – WeHORR organisers, you know where we are if you change your mind!
Learning from previous mistakes, Vesta’s C – or ‘Crackpot’ – crew boated before anyone else so as not to miss the start of the race. Holidays, work commitments, illness and unspeakable last-minute foot infections meant this was the first time all 9 crew members had been in a boat together. Undeterred by this (practice, after all, is cheating), and buoyed by a rousing crew chat by adopted coach Jeremy Rose, the Crackpots set off in a positive frame of mind and with their trademark sense of humour in tow.
Thanks to feisty stroking by resident ‘shire horse’ Becs Packer, ably assisted by Sarah ‘Shetland’ Wood in the 7 seat, the girls stormed off the start, starting to pick off crews shortly after Barnes Bridge. Determined and aggressive coxing by Rachael Dixon ensured the crew held the racing line even despite some kamikaze steering by a slower Kingston crew. Unfortunately even a massive push from powerhouses Gemma Etherington and Martha Walker couldn’t quite edge the boat past the speedy City of Bristol crew that had set off just ahead; but Vesta retained hot on their heels the whole way down. A fantastic finish saw the girls overtaking several more crews as they charged past the boathouses.
All crew members hoped their performance had enabled them to achieve the top 50 result they were aiming for – and received the news of their stonking 28th place finish with amazement. Lively celebrations (ahem) ensued. Coach Jeremy’s delight with the result was tinged with relief that the Crackpots hadn’t finished 8 places higher – he’d promised to wear a dress if they made the top 20. Think they had him scared for a minute.
The WIM3 ‘Dynamos’ took to the Tideway on Saturday with their newly acquired boat buoying the journey up to the start. Sadly, super seven seat Hayley had to pull out on the morning of the race, so we had to call upon Vesta’s own super sub Jenny Cann. The row up proved a chance to get used to our new crew and our new boat. We all gave a shout for the Vesta crews (which must have been a factor in their impressive results…) and got slightly starstruck as Anna Railton, of ‘There’s something about Rowing’ fame, started in the Cambridge A boat. She was kind enough to make us some snazzy mugs, so we thought the least we could do was to give a shout. After having to easy just ahead of the start line, we got off to a speedy start, overtaking crew 120 within a couple of hundred metres of the start line and chasing down the next crew. We felt like we had a quick race to Hammersmith, grateful for the many loud supporters cheering us along the course. As we pushed off Hammersmith Bridge, the wind picked up, although we still managed to overtake a crew passing Harrod’s, in spite of the other crew’s steering. From then on in, it was hanging on for dear life until the black buoy and the cries from the Vesta balcony. It was a well-fought race, passing five crews with aggressive and inspiring coxing from Jamie Wooller and a determined row from all the girls. For many in the crew, the result was the highest placing they have achieved at WEHORR and, alongside coming 10th in our category, something we consider an achievement in itself.
Vesta welcomes visiting crews from the UK and overseas for the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race on 3rd March 2012 and the Men’s Eights Head of the River Race on 17th March 2012. Please request boating permission from the club deputy captain e: email@example.com. We politely request a nominal fee of £5 per rower to cover the club’s maintenance costs. On receipt of boating permission, please send a cheque made out to Vesta Rowing Club.
The month of March brings tourists flocking to the Tideway on four separate occasions: the Women’s Head, the Men’s Head, the Veterans’ Head and the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. The Embankment traffic police believe all large rowing events are called ‘The Boat Race’ and plaster yellow signs on all lamp posts accordingly, however the natives know better, each having its own distinct identity and excuse for a party.
While the Women’s Head is characterised by bare-footed squealing females unversed in the ways of the tidal Thames, hanging out of boats to pee and at least one capsize while boating, the Men’s Head brings schoolboys, social rowers, triallists and internationals bow to stern in a massive snaking flotilla, with the first crews on their second pint by the time the last crews are marshalling past the bandstand. Everyone thinks the Vet’s head will be a good idea until Barnes Bridge, yet when the time comes to enter the following year, Alzheimer’s and alcohol have done their wicked work and erased all memory of those twenty (thirty?) minutes of pain. For one day a year the media descends on Putney and Chiswick to cover THE Boat Race, with all its glorious hopes and dreams, unbearable tension and vicious coxing.
Best of luck to all crews involved and a hearty welcome to all crews boating from Vesta. Do come up for a well-earned brew in the bar afterwards, enjoy the view from our balcony and stay on into the evening to celebrate or drown your sorrows at one of Vesta’s legendary parties. See you there!