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 'lighters', 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 race commemorates Steve Faldo, the captain of the Marchioness, who died along with fifty others when it sank after being run down by a dredger on 20 August 1989.
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