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Great River Race in the Pool of London: pictures

Nearly 280 boats took part in this year's 22-mile Great River Race from Richmond to Greenwich, providing quite a spectacle as the participants passed through the Pool of London.

Firkin - Great River Race
'The Firkin' - crewed by the Reformed Twinstead Temperance Society - was the first boat to start. (Photo: David Birch)
Makerere
'Makerere' in the Pool of London (Photo: David Birch)
Sinking dragon boat
Safety boats attend to the crew of a sinking dragonboat (Photo: David Birch)
Capsize - Great River Race 2007
Another capsize near Tower Bridge (Photo: James Hatts)
The Sisterhood dragonboat
The Sisterhood - a dragonboat crew of which Kate Middleton was formerly a member - has received a lot of press coverage in recent weeks. (Photo: David Birch)
Downstream of Tower Bridge
A busy scene just downstream of Tower Bridge

Rock star Sting fired a cannon to start the 20th Great River Race in Richmond on Saturday just before 1pm. Just over two hours later the first competitors were reaching SE1.

Any traditional-style coxed boat propelled by a minimum of four oars or paddles may take part. Each boat is computer-handicapped according to its potential performance, so everyone has an equal chance in this ‘slowest away first, fastest last' handicap race.

Boats taking part included Thames Waterman Cutters, Dragonboats, Skiffs and Gigs.

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