Can we interest some of you in the 2017 Great River Race ( www.greatriverrace.co.uk
)? It’s being held on the 9th of September and the race runs from London Docklands up to Ham House near Richmond on Thames. Over 2500 people will row and paddle in fixed seats rowing boats, carrying 1 passenger in a nod to the old watermen who carried passengers on the Thames each day.
Each year Northern Exposure Rescue pulls together a fleet of 35 volunteer safety boats to support the event over the 22 mile course. We ask that each boat is at least 2 up, greater than 4m LOA, has a fixed 25watt VHF, some basic safety gear and ideally an RYA Safety Boat Certificate (or a PB Level 2 and relevant experience).
Providing safety cover is an exciting affair with the competitors following the Middlesex bank and the safety boats forming a line between them and the rest of the river traffic. Some safety boats are also on station around fixed hazards such as closed river arches and the Palace of Westminster.
In return the organisers of the GRR will reimburse safety boat skippers for the fuel they use in their cars getting to the event, fuel used by the boats at the event and provide overnight camping before and after the event at Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts near the finish line. Alternatively you can stop in a nearby hotel and we recommend the Shepperton Holiday Inn where there is ample parking for cars and boats on trailers. Unfortunately the event organisers can’t afford to cover the cost of this, but if you are an RYA member and book in advance, you can get significant discounts.
We recommend everybody launches in West London in the morning and travels down to London Docklands together. We normally use a large slipway in Kingston upon Thames, outside of the congestion charging zone and then park cars and trailers near Teddington Lock. From here we motor down river, through Richmond Lock which is FOC for us and down through the Capital to Masthouse Terrace Pier for 1045. Here we have a short briefing, grab a bacon roll provided by the organisers, hand out all the flags, megaphones, GPS trackers, whistles, foam fingers etc etc.
The race starts at 1245 and runs through till 1600/1700 at Richmond upon Thames and Ham House. After the race there is a party at the finish line with live bands and several bars.
If you are interested in supporting this event just download, fill out and return the sign up form available here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/m43oacegpg2n8as/2017%20Great%20River%20Race%20Safety%20Crew%20App%20Form%20-%20INSERT%20NAME.xlsx?dl=0