One of Britain's longest-running single sculls rowing events took place on the River Thames in the heart of London on Wednesday (23 July).
One of Britain's longest-running single sculls rowing events took place on the River Thames in the heart of London on Wednesday (23 July). It was the annual Doggett's Coat and Badge race...a tradition stretching back 261 years in British rowing history.
The race is held each year under the administration of the Fishmongers' Company...an ancient London guild. Six young Watermen, as they are called, row between London Bridge and Chelsea...to win the splendid orange livery and badge which given the race its name. The uniform is provided annually from monies left in the will of Thomas Doggett, an 18th century comedian, in memory of the accession of King George 1 to the British throne in 1714.
This year's race was sculled in extremely difficult conditions, with a strong cross headwind meeting the tide. It developed into a duel between Christopher Drury, from Battersea, and 19-year-old John Dwan from Northfleet.
Drury celebrated his recent selection for Britain's lightweight coxless fours world championship team by winning the race--and the celebrated uniform--in 28 minutes 44 seconds. But Dwan was only yards behind, after a last-stretch burst which showed his potential as a sculler as effective in the water as his brother, Olympic oarsman Kenneth Dwan.