Following Vessels


Individuals or groups may follow the Match, capacity permitting,
aboard the following passenger craft:

To follow the Match aboard an authentic traditional Thames Sailing
Barge telephoneTopsail Charters
on 01621 837567

To follow the Match aboard the historic coal fired Steam
Tug Portwey

Also following the Match will be Princess Pocahontas from Gravesend – contact

To view the Match from the land, vantage points ashore to the north
of the Thames are detailed below:

Barges preparing for the start (7.00 a.m. – 8.30 a.m.) should be visible
from the north shore of the Thames at Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury,
Essex, RM18 8PB.

Directions by road: From junction 30 on the M25 travel East (towards
Southend) along the A13 to the A128 Orsett Cock roundabout.Take
the third exit along the A1013. Follow the signs for East Tilbury.
After approximately 1 mile, turn RIGHT into BUCKINGHAM HILL ROAD
and follow the brown tourist signs to Coalhouse Fort and East Tilbury.
At the southern end of East Tilbury village you will enter the COALHOUSE
FORT car park, from which it is a short walk to the riverside. PLEASE

The barges will pass by later in the day as they race back to the
finish. Timings are entirely dependent on weather conditions and cannot
be guaranteed.

The competing barges will sail east from the start line and will be
readily seen from the sea wall running much of the length of Canvey
Island’s south shore from shortly after the start until all have passed
by. This will again be a vantage point as the barges head back up
river, though again timings
are entirely weather dependent and cannot be guaranteed.

Another north shore vantage point is at Grays waterfront in the vicinity
of The Wharf public house at the river end of Wharf Road South, Grays,
RM17 5YX, where competitors will pass heading west towards the finish
during early to mid-afternoon, weather conditions dependent, and a
little later past The Royal Hotel, London Road, Purfleet, RM16 1QA.

The race course takes the barges past Southend which makes the famous mile-and-a-quarter Pier a place from which they can be seen. Note that if the course is shortened they may not actually sail this far.

To view the Match from the land, vantage points ashore to the south
of the Thames are detailed below:

Many of the competing barges will lie overnight off Gravesend before
departing early, around 6.00 a.m. on Saturday 22nd for the start downriver
at Mucking Bight. Best view of the overnight berth and the morning
departures will be from the gardens near the St Andrew’s Riverside
Mission Church, Terrace Pier Road and the Town Pier by The Three Daws
public house, Gravesend, DA11 0BJ.

Gravesend Promenade, DA12 2BS, is also an ideal vantage point to see
the barges making their way to the start around 6.00 a.m. and also
to view the returning barges on the way back upriver to the finish
at Gravesend.

The finish line at Gravesend will be around St. Andrews Gardens, near the Three Daws pub. A signal gun is usually fired for each barge as it finishes. Occasionally the committee boats are unable to make it back to the finish in time, and the guns may be fired from a Committee boat instead of from the shore.
The finish can be observed from the Promenade, or the sea wall adjacent to the Three Daws.