Six classic oyster smacks race to deliver fresh oysters from the Essex oyster beds to Le Pont de la Tour restaurant by Tower Bridge.
The Thames Festival Oyster Run is the resurection of a traditional race whose origins are lost in the mists of time but was last run in the 1970s.
Traditionally this race marked the begining of the new oyster season.
Oyster smacks are the fastest and most elegant of all the East Coast working boats, characteristics which mean they are now most prized and popular among yachtsmen.
They will leave Gravesend on Friday at 8.30am and can be seen sailing up the river expected at Tower Bridge around 1pm where the Oysters will be unloaded and the winner presented with the prize.
The Oyster smacks will then lock into St Katharine Docks for the night where they can be seen at close quarters.