Home » River Life » Thames Historic Barge Rowing Race – 4th July 2015

Thames Historic Barge Rowing Race – 4th July 2015


Every summer there is the sight of crews guiding 30 tons barges along the Thames with a large flotilla, this unusual event is the Thames Historic Barge Rowing Race .


This year is the 40th running of this prestigious and unique London  rowing event which was founded in 1975 by a charity called The Transport On Water Association (TOW).


The race consists of about 12 teams of between 4 and 8 members who drive (steer and row) 30 ton barges over a seven mile course for about 90 minutes from Greenwich to Westminster Bridge.


Although it is seen as  a  fun event, it does have more serious objectives,  it commemorates the skills of lightermen who moved freight this way along the Thames up until the 1930s, it hopes to encourage  interest in moving cargo via water and  highlights the need to recruit younger people back into river trades.


Piloting 30 tonnes unpowered barges just with oars riding the  tidal river currents is a major undertaking.


The effort to travel along the river with such a large barge is considerable and is a real test of strength and the ability to read the river.


If you would like to find out more about Thames historic barges, visit their website here


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