The Blackwater Barge Match was first run in 1962 as one of the original ‘revival’ matches to help encourage enthusiasts to race, sail and preserve the Thames Sailing Barge.
2021 Match Details
Date: Saturday 17th July
Embarkation: Maldon Town Quay – time 0600hrs
Start: 0745hrs (Staysail Class) at Osea Island
Return: Ca. 4pm
Guests step aboard the barge early in the morning at The Hythe Quay in the heart of the historic town of Maldon, Essex, where most of the fleet moors overnight prior to the match.
The barge then casts off and ghosts down the narrow river past Heybridge Basin, where the river begins to widen. The start is located off of Osea Island, now an exclusive retreat –www.oseaisland.co.uk/.
The course takes the barges out into the estuary, past the decommissioned Bradwell Power Station and the famous pirate radio ship, Ross Revenge, home of Radio Caroline and then usually up the River Colne, past Mersea Island, before returning.
Having finished, the fleet of barges then make their way up to the Town Quay for the prizegiving ceremony, held on the steps of the Queen’s Head public house, overlooking the barges, where good beer flows freely!