Services: Towage, Crane, Passenger Boat, Camping & Bus Tickets

The 2018 Race is not yet accepting orders for these services.

Towage and Crane Services:

A tow-down service from Ham and Richmond to the Start is being run from early Race day morning and timed to have your boat available for collection when you arrive at Registration. To take advantage of this service, boats must be launched by 18:00 on Friday and the cost is £95.

This year, the crane service at Ham (extra charge ~ see Services for more details – please note this must be booked in advance) will be positioned on the riverside in the Ham Street car park, immediately after the Finish line. On Friday, it will be in operation from 14:00 to 18:00 hours to enable boats to be towed to the Start (extra charge; please request tow). On Saturday, it will be available from 15:30 hours.

Another crane service, designed to appeal to entrants travelling from the Continent and east of London, will operate from South Dock Marina, Calypso Way (off Plough Way) SE16 7UX, immediately opposite the Start. Boats will be craned into the dock between 11:00 to 14:30 hours on Friday, September 8th, locked out, moored up and towed across on Saturday morning. Make sure your boat is equipped with a tow rope and fenders. There will be a fee of £35.00 covering lift, lock and tow, but this will represent a substantial saving on towing from Ham and be much more convenient.

If required, Towage and Crane Assistance must be requested via the entry maintenance facility; we will be in touch with full details on receipt of a request.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the Race without necessarily getting into a sweat; click on the images below to get a taste of alternative ways of being involved with the action.

Camping/BBQ Bus Passenger BoatS
Click here to find out about the Race camping and Bar-B-Q service. Click here to find out about the Race bus service. Click here to find out about the Race passenger boat service.

Camping/Hogroast BBQ/Party:

As usual, we will be operating our very successful campsite at Thames Young Mariners in Riverside Drive, Ham, TW10 7RX in conjunction with The 14th Richmond Sea Scouts. The site is a few minutes walk from the Race Finish and has showers and toilets. The price is per person and demand is always very high so please do book early to avoid disappointment.

Following issues with accessibility for Emergency Vehicles, please note there will be NO cars permitted on the campsite, other than vehicles belonging to Camp Site Crew and Camper Vans*, however there is ample parking on Riverside Drive. All campers will need to carry their kit to their pitch, but if required, there will be a tractor & trailer service provided by the TYM staff to assist with this. This service will only be available up until 7pmAll cars must leave the site once they have parked their caravans.

Please note the main gate will close at 22:00hrs but you can still come through the side gate with your equipment and there will be foot access to the site for the duration of your visit through the pedestrian gate. We appreciate your cooperation in abiding by these rules.

* Those wishing to bring camper vans MUST pre-book a space with the GRR organisers via email to prior to the event, and then book and pay online once confirmation has been received.  There is limited availability of spaces so you will need to ensure you have booked and paid for your vehicle by the time the Race closes on the 15th of August. You will be issued with a permit prior to the event which must have the vehicle Registration Number clearly shown , and it must be displayed in full view of TYM staff at all times whilst on site. For those bringing vehicles onsite please note that on arrival, they will be directed to the designated parking area with Caravans and campervans only allowed in one area. Due to the high demand over the last two years it will not be possible for any caravan, campervan, van etc. to be in with their camping friends as the space is needed for all the extra tents.

For those campers arriving on Thursday please note that nobody will be allowed on site until 16:30hrs as there are School activities taking place – again we appreciate your cooperation.

The Friday night BBQ party will include a delicious hog roast (tickets must be purchased in advance) and the entertainment will be provided by our regular blues band.
Please do take advantage of our early registration facility and register your crew on the Friday evening in order to avoid queues on Race Day.


The bus service has become an integral part of Race day. On the morning of this year's Race, the buses will take crews and passenger boat customers from the Lensbury, Travelodge Teddington, and the campsite to the Start for registration and boarding.

Please note that bus tickets are of limited availability as we will not have more than 7 campsite buses and 2 hotel buses, and the seats are only confirmed when you pay for them.When our capacity is filled no more seats will be available so in order to avoid disappointment and be certain that you have your seats we recommend that you book early and if possible pay for them straight away.

Anyone trying to board without a valid paid booking on the day will not be accommodated. Also, we will not be issuing paper tickets so please make sure that everyone in your group knows in whose name the tickets are booked and on which number bus, as they will need to know this for boarding purposes. Please be aware that our bus monitors on the day are volunteers and we would appreciate it if you would treat them with courtesy.

Follow the Race in the Viscount passenger boat:

With its good visibility, low freeboard, 2 fully stocked and licensed bars and friendly cooperative crew, the Viscount makes the ideal viewing platform for The Great River Race. The boat will be leaving Masthouse Terrace Pier promptly at 12:20 hours with boarding starting from 12 noon. Please be aware that only seeing and hearing dogs are permitted on the Viscount. Whilst access is allowed for pushchairs there is limited space so please be considerate of other passengers when boarding. Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access due to narrow stairs leading to both the toilets and lower deck.

A BBQ and light lunches will be available on board, offering a variety of sandwiches, crisps, teas, coffees and biscuits. Cash is preferable as the card machine can be temperamental. Thankyou.

PLEASE NOTE – No drinks are to be brought on board; only those purchased on board can be consumed for the duration of your trip.

Masthouse Pier is a short ten minute walk from the Start. Just walk along Westferry Road (away from Canary Wharf), turn right on Napier Ave and then right onto Maritime Quay. Mudchute Docklands Light Rail Station is also nearby and the D3 and D7 buses both stop on Westferry Road close to Napier Avenue.

To maximise the viewing opportunities for passenger boat spectators the Viscount will follow the course as far as Hammersmith Bridge before mooring up and waiting until most of the Race has passed. Then it will steam through the fleet to Richmond, where it will tie up at Richmond Landing Stage to watch the Race pass by as crews summon up the energy for the final push to the Finish. You then can disembark and enjoy a short stroll upriver to join the crowds around the Great River Race bar .

Note: The trip will last approximately 3.5 hours.

If you have any queries or special requirements not covered by the above please contact or call the office on 0208 398 8141 for assistance before booking your tickets.

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