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Saturday 27th May 2023 Gillingham ME7 1UB

The Thames Sailing Barges racing on the Medway River

A great opportunity to photograph the wonderful old barges from the water while they are put through there paces during a full day of racing.


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About this event

Sailing barges have been seen on the rivers around London for well over a 100 years, originally the mainstay of the Capital when it came to moving goods around. Nowadays however these wonderful craft are more likely to be seen in private ownership for leisure and pleasure with a number of them coming together each year in the pursuit of 'Match Racing'. 

Our day on the river will be an early start from Gillingham Marina at circa 7am (exact time will be confirmed) where we will set sail to witness the spectacle of Thames sailing barges under full sail racing against each other on the Medway River. So many great photo opportunities at close quarters will be on offer throughout the day as we sail amongst the competitors to capture images otherwise not possible from the waters edge. 

Anyone who has sailed with us before will know we always get close to the action with our very experienced skipper, Richard in charge of our 'photo boat'. The Jacob Marley is a roomy vessel with plenty of covered inside space, useful for storing our equipment and of course us if the weather turns. We will be joining the official committee on the Jacob Marley so this is limited to 20 photographers, with 12 committee members on a boat that is licensed to carry 100 people so there will be plenty of space. Being on the same boat as the official committee also means that we will be in the right places at the right time.

The cost for the day includes a full buffet lunch and hot and cold drinks throughout the day.

Event requirements


  • Spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Lense cloths
  • Lenses
  • Camera protection - rain covers etc


  • All levels welcome


  • Low

Other essentials

  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location