Barge Match Experience


The best way to see what a barge can really do – join us for a Match Day.

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A Thames Barge Match is like no other. Steeped in rich tradition, the historic barge matches of the East Coast have been running for over 150 years, with the barges pushed just as competitively today as they were in the days of commercial barges.

Photographic opportunities will abound as the barges sail within feet of one another and for those keen sailors who wish to take part in the handling of the gear, the race crew will be happy to provide some instruction.

There are 8 Thames Barge Matches in total, as follows (nearest town in brackets):

Medway (Gillingham)
Blackwater (Maldon, Essex)
Thames (Gravesend, Kent)
Passage Match – River Medway to River Orwell (Ipswich)
Pin Mill (Ipswich)
Whitstable Harbour Day
Swale (Faversham)
Colne (Brightlingsea)

Points are awarded at each barge match, with the best performing barge declared Champion at the end of the season. Recent results can be found on the Championship webpage.

We advise contacting us before booking, as each barge match has it’s own characteristics – there may be early starts, dinghy trips, overnight stays and prizegiving suppers involved.

Before booking, please read the General Information page.

Full details of the day will be emailed once each match Committee has released the full race information.

2019 Results:

Medway: 3rd
Blackwater: DNS
Thames: 2nd
Passage: 1st
Pin Mill: 2nd
Whitstable: 3rd
Swale: Match cancelled due to poor weather
Colne: 6th

Additional information

2021 Matches

Medway – 28th August – SOLD OUT, Pin Mill – 3rd July – SOLD OUT, Blackwater – 17th July – SOLD OUT, Swale – 31st July – SOLD OUT, Thames – 14th August – SOLD OUT, Colne – 11th September