All About The Great River Race: The Course

 THE COURSE - 2017

 
GRRStart
From TBA - 190 minutes
MILLWALL RIVERSIDE, WESTFERRY ROAD
LONDON DOCKLANDS
 
Competing crews arrive, register and prepare their boats for the launch and of course the Race. Public announcements throughout.
Colourful scenes at the start of the race.
GRR Start Area
TBA Start Time
MILLWALL DOCK SLIPWAY
LONDON DOCKLANDS
 
Our starter fires the maroon to start the first of the 300-odd entrants. Boats leave on a ‘slowest first, fastest last’ handicap basis, giving all crews an equal chance.
Roger organising the Racers at the start.
Shard
+ 12:55 minutes
TOWER BRIDGE
 
Not long after passing Canary Wharf, the unmistakable outline of Tower Bridge comes into sight. The Bridge is a great favourite with spectators who love to line the rails to watch the crews fighting for position as they approach.
Picture two of the race at Tower Bridge.
Westminster
+ 13:10 minutes
WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

Tricky currents give crews, especially novices, a tough challenge as some fight to hold on to their handicap advantage, while others try to weave their way through. Great racing for the crowds as the competition hots up.
Picture two of the race at Lambeth Bridge.
Picture one of the race at Lambeth Bridge.
+ 13:15 minutes
LAMBETH BRIDGE
 
The leading boats are now passing the Houses of Parliament and concentrating on the long haul upriver. Back at Millwall there are still more than one hundred boats yet to start.
Picture two of the race at Lambeth Bridge.
Picture one of the Race at Batersea.
+ 13:30 minutes
BATTERSEA BRIDGE
 
Approaching the halfway point and the crews have now received maximum assistance from the incoming tide. The riverside promenades above and below the Bridge make excellent vantage points.
Picture two of the Race at Batersea.
Picture one of the Race at Wandsworth.
+ 13:40 minutes
WANDSWORTH BRIDGE
 
While the best crews in the slower boats are still leading the field, the more powerful crews in the faster craft are now showing their speed as they move through the field.
Picture two of the Race at Wandsworth.
Picture one of the Race at Putney.
+ 13:45 minutes
PUTNEY BRIDGE
 
While the head of the Race is now two thirds of the way home, the end of the fleet has just cleared central London.
Picture two of the race at Putney.
Hammersmith Bridge
+ 14:00 minutes
HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE
 
Tricky currents around the Dove Pier just above the Bridge will test tiring crews and weary coxes.
Picture two of the Race at Hammersmith.
Picture one of the Race at Chiswick.
+ 14:30 minutes
CHISWICK BRIDGE
 
With around an hour to go, speculation mounts as to whether those low-handicap boats which have led the fleet for so long will be able to hold on to their advantage or be overwhelmed.
Picture two of the Race at Chiswick.
Picture one of the race at Kew.
+ 14:45 minutes
KEW BRIDGE
 
Now racing a against a semi-rural backdrop, the faster dragonboats, Waterman Cutters, Pilot Gigs and Celtic Longboats are beginning to show their superior pace and feature in the top twenty.
Kew Bridge
Richmond Bridge
+ 15:20 minutes
RICHMOND BRIDGE
 
Richmond's riverside spectators cheer on the crews as they pass through the Bridge. With 35 trophies up for grabs, crews must draw on their last reserves to vie for a winning spot.
Richmond Bridge
Picure of the finsih at Ham.
+ 15:25 minutes
RIVERSIDE BELOW HAM HOUSE, RICHMOND
 
Our Race winner crosses the line to a cannon broadside, rousing applause, and the prospect of receiving The Challenge Trophy of The Company of Watermen & Lightermen and becoming the UK Traditional Boat Champions in the process.
Ham Finish
So that’s the course but there are still more than 300 finishers to come in over the next couple of hours, many of them to claim honours. Then it’s time to have a much-earned drink in the Great River Race marquee on the riverside below historic Ham House (once a hotbed of political intrigue during the Civil War), swap stories and listen to cries of “never again”.