Photos: Thames Sailing Barge Match 2016

Rob PowellSailing Barges

THE THAMES Sailing Barge Match took place on June 25th for the 85th time, with eight of the historic and distinctive vessels taking part.

The event, which first took place in 1863, is reckoned to be the second oldest sailing contest in the world after the America’s Cup.

Racing takes place from Mucking No. 3 buoy in Lower Hope Reach out to South West Barrow buoy before heading back to Gravesend, although conditions can cut short the course, as happened this year.

1898-built sailing barge Edme was the first of the vessels back to Gravesend, just as a thunder storm was about to start, where she was met with a celebratory whistle from the steam tug Portwey and the cheers of a number of spectators at the riverside.

The results of the 2016 Thames Sailing Barge Match were as follows:

Coasting Class:
1st Cambria
2nd Lady of the Lea

Champion Staysail Class
1st Niagara
2nd Edith May

Champion Bowsprit Class
1st Edme
2nd Xylonite
3rd Adieu
4th Marjorie

Images from the 2016 Thames Sailing Barge Match

Xylonite – built in 1926 and based at St Katharine Docks throughout the year.

Edme and Cambria – both came first in their respective classes.

Sailing barge Niagara, built in 1898, passes the mid swatch buoy.

Cargo vessels old and new: Marjorie, built 1903, and MSC Athos, built 2013.

SB Cambria was built at Greenhithe in 1906.

SB Edme arriving back at Gravesend to cross the line first

Video: Highlights of the 2016 Thames Sailing Barge Match