So! We leave Gods own at 4pm on Friday, crawl down the M1, arrive in Richmond at 9pm, launch in the (pitch) dark, find the pontoon, pitch the tent in the dark, get up at 4.30 am, get washed & brew up in a scout hut, find the boats (in the dark, in a strange land) & set off down the Thames, in the company of Bouncer & Domino at 5.45 just as the dawn was breaking. 3 1/2 hours later we arrive at Masthouse pier for the safety brief, after having the river just about to ourselves for most of the way. We loved every minute
The race starts at 12.10 & we are on station at Canary Wharf, trying to keep the 300 boats or so, to the north side of the river, out of the way of the fast clippers
Mrs PD likened it to "herding cats"
As the last competitors passed us, we tucked in behind & herded them up the river. We had to assist a couple of dragon boats that were in danger of sinking due to being swamped, but apart from that & a few stroppy competitors, all went well & nobody died, which is always a bonus
We were on the water for 13hours & covered the section of the Thames from Ham to Greenwich twice, about 50 miles in total, mostly at 6kn
We had a fantastic time & would do it all again in a wink.
PS, this was a proper race, with proper winners & not just some terwat that stole
claimed it for himself.