Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Clipper start.. London 2015

Good Lord, is it really two years since the last race??!

Anyway - those of you who have read this drivel for some time will know that my bother in law works for Robin Knox Johnston's Clipper Race organisation, and as another race has just started, managed to rummage up tickets (again) for the official start, which was once again in London..

The boats congregate at St Katherine's Dock, which makes the best starting point for the race that you can possibly think of, with a backdrop of the old East India warehouses, Tower Bridge, and the the Tower of London all competing with the colour of the yachts - it truly is a spectacular sight..

Arranged to meet my sister at the Dean Swift [clicky], surely one of the finest pubs in Christendom, where over an extended and leisurely lunch (very nice home cooked Scotch egg) I worked my way along the four hand pumps, not a duff one amongst them with only the "Pale Ale" by Redemption not quite hitting the 'exciting' button (apologies for the blur - camera phone and dark bar..)

The spectator boats were due to go at about 2:30, and unlike last year were leaving from the St Katherine's side so a brisk walk across Tower Bridge ensued; big crowds watching the yachts which even then were beginning to filter on to the river.

The spectator boats were also smaller than the pretend Mississippi river steamer we were on last time - a huge improvement - the skippers were more adventurous so went much closer to the fleet than last year, they also went further down river as this time we went well beyond the Thames Barrier (a first for me, and a chance to have a close up look).

I love the Thames - so much to see, so many reminders of how syupidly busy it must once have been - the track shows that basically we went the length of what was called the Pool of London - the dry docks are all still there (mostly marina's or residential housing complex's now though) and the warehouses have been turned into accommodation, but how powerful were the East India Company once...?! Astonishing...

Loads of pictures taken:

...then three hours later (or so) after a hugely entertaining afternoon on the water we wended our way home - a brilliant day..

Track for the return trip follows:

Good luck to the teams in the race..


  1. I am highly offended Steve that you are accusing me of reading drivel. Yours and other blogs provide excellent information about boats and stuff from a part of the world that I hold dear (Our only daughter now lives in the UK).... and how's an antipodean such as myself supposed to know that the Dean Swift exists if yachties such as your good self don't blog about it..... so buck your bloody ideas up or I'll organise a thoroughly good keel hauling.

  2. Verily I stand here before you chastised... I must get back to the Dean Swift for a pint to recover.. :o)