Lightermen Win Thames 2017 Barge Race

The 42nd Thames Barge Race saw teams of five rowers using nothing more than strength, skill and the London tide to power hefty barges over a course of seven miles between the Palaces of Greenwich and Westminster. 

Cheered on by family, friends and colleagues in following boats, the competitors took turns in rowing and steering the barges, weighing up to 30 tonnes, using 20 feet oars or ‘sweeps’.Winners for 2017 were The Company of Waterman and Lighterman with a time of 1 hour and 41 minutes. The PLA team were runners up.

Many of the competing barges were over 100 years old surviving from a time when lightermen shifted cargoes along the river.

The event is very popular for spectators, who line the route, watch from bridges and other vantage points along the way or watch from one of the many Thames pleasure craft that follow the course.

For more information about the Thames Barge Driving Trust and other barge driving events please click here.