Some three hundred and thirty crews will start The Great River Race, London’s 21.6-mile River Marathon, from Docklands to Ham, to find the UK Traditional Boat Champions.
The entry includes gigs, skiffs, cutters, naval whalers, Chinese dragon boats, Hawaiian war canoes, shallops, skerries, wherries and many, many more.
Some 2,500 competitors will brave the challenging course, from dedicated regular racers to fun rowers and paddlers, ranging from barely-teenage Scouts to national champions. Crews are entered by groups as diverse as 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 Challenge Trophy of The Company of Watermen & Lightermen of the River Thames, awarded to the first boat over the line, to figure in one of the 32 other classes or simply to finish and collect a much-prized participation certificate.
Most will be raising money for charity, and many are sure to add to the spectacle of the Race by competing in fancy dress.