12.30 â€“ 1pm Newcomers Race - Tower Bridge to Waterloo Bridge
3.30 â€“ 4.15pm Steve Faldo Memorial Race - Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge
The Steve Faldo Memorial Barge-Driving Race re-enacts the way watermen manoeuvred their barges on the Thames in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when goods from cargo ships were offloaded onto barges, or â€˜lightersâ€™, and rowed with long oars to quayside warehouses.
The teams competing in this impressive race require skill and strength to propel these heavy un-powered vessels and ride the river currents. The main race features barges crewed by modern-day watermen and lightermen, who work on boats up and down the Thames from Woolwich to Hampton Court. The earlier race features novice crews, made up of friends, family and apprentices of The Company of Watermen and Lightermen.
The race commemorates the captain of the Marchioness, who died along with 50 others when it sank after being run down by a dredger on 20 August 1989.