32 “Thoroughbreds of the Tideway” compete in the 1928 Thames Sailing Barge Match – what a beautiful silent film.
This is a marvellous film of the 2017 Thames Match made by Harley Deards. Congratulations Harley, this is one well worth keeping.
We shall also be having some other films from him during the year.
It was a great achievement to gather 16 barges for the Thames Match on Saturday. It would always have been a special occasion as the 150th anniversary of the first match, but was made more special – and more poignant – by the sudden death at the end of last year of Mark Boyle who had re-started the matches in the 1990s and done so much to drive them forward. All credit then to the Committee who picked up the reins, (oh dear, we are into horse metaphors now!), and provided such a special 2013 match. Not least, mention must be made of Richard Walsh, our own SSBR Vice Chairman, who stepped in as Match Secretary.
The weather was lovely for spectators and those taking part, but the lack of wind at the start caused big problems. This year the match finished at Erith rather than Gravesend and the winners of the three classes were:-
Coasting Class – Cambria
Champion Staysail Class – Niagara
Champion Bowsprit Class – Edme
SSBR Committee member and Cambria Trust Secretary, Dave Brooks, has published an excellent report of the match on the Cambria website. As he says, he had defected for the weekend to Lady Daphne, but he can’t resist watching out for Cambria! Here’s the link to the report on the Cambria Blog. The splendid picture was taken by Dave Brooks.
Here’s the poster for the 2013 Thames Barge Match. The match is special for two reasons. First, it is the 150th anniversary match, the first being held in 1863. Second, it is entitled The Mark Boyle Memorial Thames Sailing Barge Match in memory of Mark who revived the event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of V.E. Day in 1995, had been its driving force ever since, and whose sudden death at the age of 55, just before Christmas, shocked and saddened the sailing barge community.
So, let’s make sure the match has a great turnout of followers and shore watchers to make it even more special. Incidentally, SSBR’s own Vice Chairman, Richard Walsh, has become Acting Secretary of the Match and taken on the task of running the 2013 event.