Longships & Dragon Boats To Invade The Thames

The 21.6 mile Great River Race is this Saturday

A dazzling array of boats will sail down the Thames on Saturday 27th September as part of the Great River Race, with plenty of chances to watch from the your local riverbank.

More than 300 boats from all over the UK and Europe will be taking part, including Chinese Dragon Boats, Hawaiian war canoes, Viking longships, skiffs, gigs, skerries, wherries, cutters and naval whalers.

They will all be completing in the race to find the UK Traditional Boat Champions. One of the most striking entries will be a replica Dover Bronze Age rope-sewn plank boat, built and entered by Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

The 21.6-mile Great River Race course includes crews from rowing clubs, councils, schools, livery companies, pubs, youth clubs, police, fire brigades, the Armed Services, banks and other companies.

Many will be striving to win the premier prize, the Challenge Trophy of The Company of Watermen & Lightermen of the River Thames. Most will be raising money for charity, including the race’s official 2014 charity, the Royal Benevolent and Educational Fund for Watermen and Lighterman. Wandsworth Council is a long-term supporter of the race and a boat crewed by current and former officers will be taking part.

The Great River Race starts from the Millwall Slipway, opposite the Docklands Sailing Centre, Westferry Road E14 3QS at 12.45 hours on Saturday, September 27, with boats leaving on handicap for an hour. A winner is expected at Ham Riverside, below Ham House, Richmond at about 15.40 hours, with approximate local bridge timings as follows:
Wandsworth – 13.55;
Putney – 14.00;
Hammersmith – 14.15;
Chiswick – 14.45.

The event will end at Ham Riverside, below Ham House where there will be music, food, a bar and family entertainment.

September 24, 2014