Barge Match Experience

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

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Our 2021 season has now finished. Our 2022 sailing schedule is released to Patrons later this year and will be published in Spring to the general public.

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.

2021 Results:

Medway: 2nd
Blackwater: 5th
Thames: 3rd
Passage: 2nd
Pin Mill: 2nd
Whitstable: N/A
Swale: 2nd
Colne: DNS

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