The UK Traditional Boat Championship or the Great River Race as it is known has become a favourite with crews and the public, to understand why it is worth going down to Millwall slipway in the morning before the race to savour some of the excitement and anticipation of the competitors.
Collecting over 300 boats of assorted sizes in order would seem to be a logistic nightmare, however the organisation always seems assured and efficient.
Many of the crews dress up in fancy dress and take part to raise money for charity, so a few strange and unusual sights are about.
The Great River race is known as the ‘River Marathon’ because the course is 21.6 Miles from the Isle of Dogs to Ham in Surrey and attracts over 300 crews from all over the globe and appeals to every level of competitor from the fun rowers to the more serious racers. There are 35 trophies at stake for the various classes of boats and competitors.
The start has the slowest boats starting first before the great bulk of boats are launched to create a great scene on the river with all the boats taking part and many other passengers boats following the race.
The last boats to start are the dragon boats which are a wonderful sight as they make their way up to Tower Bridge.
To give all crews an equal chance, entrants were handicapped according to the calculated potential performance of their boats.