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Thames Row 2012

Tuesday 14th - Thursday 16th August

Previous event: Peterborough Summer Regatta - Following event: Round Canvey Island Race

Martyn Higson / Anton Wright (Men's Double Scull A)

26 hours 109.62 miles 3 days

Martyn Higson reports:


No one has ever rowed the length of the Thames upstream before. We did not see why this was the case until we decided to give it a go. We arrived at Gravesend late at night and the water was totally flat, ideal for rowing. At 5am the next morning, we pushed off towards London, slipstreaming a cruiseship. This led to us being caught in the worst wake I have ever seen, so we turned around and got back out. It turns out that a practice outing may have been a good idea...

We decided to restart from Putney and row 140 miles instead of 163 ending in Lechlade. Day 1 took us from Putney to Staines, a distance of about 30 miles, past all of the Regatta courses I have raced in the Thames this summer, stopping for lunch in Sunbury, just past Molesey. Staines RC were very friendly and gave us access to the boathouse for showers and to charge laptops etc.

Day 2 was where we knew we had to up the ante. We left Staines at 6am in search of Reading, stopping at Maidenhead RC for a break in the morning and Henley in the afternoon. We arrived at Reading RC at 8:30pm and they opened the bar for us. We had covered about 40 miles and so a pint was very welcome.

Day 3 was another 6am start, from Reading to our old friends in Oxford. This was another 40 miles. We first went from Reading to Goring. Our second stint was 4 hours and 15 miles, this took it's toll and tensions built. The third stretch, from the lunch stop to Abingdon RC was short and we found a friendly face who knew Anton (it may have taken Anton a few hours to work out who he was). The last stretch was from Abingdon to Oxford, terminating at Falcon RC. At Abingdon Lock, we were told that it was 4.25miles to the next lock and we had 40 minutes until the lock keeper finished for the day. As such, we did that stretch at firm pressure, just missing out on the lock keeper.

Uploaded Saturday 18th August, 11:11