This year’s A crew achieved the best ever result for women’s rowing at Vesta in its 19 year history, and they did so in the face of heavy expectation, having finished in fourth place last year and starting this year in third. The club was well and truly excited and proud to see their performance last Saturday and wish them the best of luck preparing for the summer season. The B, C and D crews also performed exceedingly well with some very respectable results and the Masters crew showed their class too. Well done to them and their coaches. The crew tells their story in the race report below. (And I hope to be bringing you further WEHORR race reports from the other Vesta crews soon too!)
With four returning members of the crew that came 4th in 2012 and a crop of new talent, the 1st VIII started the race in 3rd position on the river. The plan was simple: start close behind crew 2, Belvoir from Zurich, and overtake them on the run up to Hammersmith. After staying relaxed in the marshalling area we spun and paddled to the start line with a length of clear water to our Swiss counterparts – perfect. The wind into the start began almost from the off; the crew was keen to get down to business! Through the line and straight into an aggressive rhythm at 34. Within the first two minutes we had overlap and broke clear of the Belvoir crew under Barnes Bridge, with a small clash between Lara at 7 and their 2 girl which just added to the excitement! With renewed vigour we escaped our European colleagues and now there was one crew between us and the finish line. Thames A had opened up a large gap of about ten lengths whilst we were in our tussle with Belvoir. It was time to make chase. Driven on by cox, Ro Thompson, we dug deep and made substantial gains up to Hammersmith. The noise and support for Vesta on the bridge was incredible and something that will inspire us for the rest of the season I am sure! All along the course from Hammersmith we were pushed on by Ro to close the gap on Thames, which by the finish, was about three lengths of clear water. Crossing the line the mood was euphoric. We had had a beast of a row and we knew it. Returning to VRC whilst everyone on the bank was applauding us was amazing but made the wait for the results all the more nerve-wracking! Luckily post-race pizza was on hand to settle the stomachs and finally the website was updated. Yes! 3rd place behind IC/Olympian crew and GB U23 squad and the Club Pennant.