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   S.S.B.R.
   The Society for Sailing Barge Research

 Barge Matches

Peter Fergusons drawing of S.B.Torment running up Sea Reach in the 1903 Sailing Match

Organised Barge Sailing Matches have existed since at least 1863.  Mr.  Henry Dodd, a London contractor who made his fortune out of the collection and disposal of rubbish and was known as the "Golden Dustman" conceived the idea of a sailing match for Thames Barges. He hoped that this would induce owners to improve the design of their barges and act as a morale booster to the participating crews. Matches continue to this day albeit not with working vessels although many of the competing vessels are more than 80 years old.

The matches are organised by local committees under the coordination of the Sailing Barge Association and points are awarded for each race to determine the champion Barge for the year.

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MATCH DATES
MATCH INFORMATION

MATCH DATES

RACE/EVENT

2014

START TIME / FROM RETURN (Approx) S.B.May under full sail in the 1983 Blackwater match
MEDWAY Saturday 7th June 08.00 Gillingham Pier 16.00
BLACKWATER Saturday 21st June 08.00 Osea Island 19.00
THAMES No Match this year    
PASSAGE Saturday/Sunday 28/29th June 06.00 Gravesend Pin Mill
PIN MILL Saturday 5th July 07.00 The Clamp, Pin Mill 16.00
WHITSTABLE Saturday 24th August 10.00 Whitstable 14.00
SWALE Saturday 2nd August 8.00 Sand End buoy 17.00
SOUTHEND Sunday 24th August 09.00 Southend Pier 16.00
COLNE Saturday 13th September 08.00 Batemans Tower, Brightlingsea 16.00
       

 

NOTE! Start times and courses may vary dependent on tide times and weather conditions. Check SBA website (link below) prior to match.

For more information on Barge Sailing Matches contact: http://www.sailingbargeassociation.co.uk/matches

MATCH INFORMATION

MEDWAY MATCH.

   
Contact: Hon Sec. Fred Smith, 22 Churchill Road, Canterbury, CT1 3EB

Tel: 01227 455 328

Course: Gillingham Pier to the Medway Buoy or other outer mark with the finish off Gillingham Pier.
Viewing Points:

View start and finish line off Gillingham Strand, Pier Approach Road, or the footpath around St Mary's Island, Chatham.The race also passes close to Garrison Point, Sheerness on Sheppey.

History: Barge racing has taken place in the Medway since at least 1872. In 1949 the Marina Club at Hoo organised the first of 5 matches for yacht barges, and commercial craft raced again from 1954 until the Centenary Match. The modern series started in 1965.

BLACKWATER MATCH.

   
Contact: Hon.Sec.Mrs Pat Boss,"Crosstrees", The Downs, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5HR. Email: boss@crosstrees.fsbusiness.co.uk  
Course: Start off Stansgate at around 8.00, the course runs out towards the Wallet Spitway Buoy to finish off Osea Island, with the fleet returning to Maldon around 4.00pm for the prize giving.
Viewing Points: View from the start off Stansgate (Near Marconi S.C.) or follow the race at Stone or Bradwell.
History: The BSBMA was founded in 1962. For membership contact Peter Carter on 01621 859382

PASSAGE MATCH.

Organisers: The Pin Mill Sailing Club
Contact: Hon. Sec. J. Ackland (See Pin Mill)
Course: The fleet assembles for the start at midday off the Claredon Hotel lawn, Gravesend, to finish off the Orwell No 1 Buoy 
Viewing Points: Gravesend, Southend and Walton Piers & Dovercourt.
History: In 1978 Blue Circle industries inauguarated the Blue Circle Challenge Match for a passage between Gravesend and the Orwell.
 Information: See: www.pmsc.org.uk/barges

Contact John Potter on 01732 353448 for details of the cruise to follow part of this and the Thames Match.

PIN MILL S.C. MATCH.

Organisers: The Pin Mill Sailing Club
Contact: Hon. Sec. J. Ackland, 12 Wendy Close, Chelmondiston, Suffolk, IP9 1JB. Tel 01473-780424. 

See: www.pmsc.org.uk/barges

Course: Start off Buttermans Bay 07.00 and finish off the The Pin Mill Sailing Clubhouse. Courses include the options to sail out to the Medusa Buoy, Wallet No 2, and Gunfleet with the possibility of a leg into the Stour.
Viewing Points: Shotley Point, Harwich breakwater.
History: In 1962 the Pin Mill Sailing Club organised a new series starting and finishing at their clubhouse.
Officer of the Day Cyril Varley
 Information: See: www.pmsc.org.uk/barges

THAMES MATCH.

Organisers: The Thames Sailingbarge Match
Contact: Brian Pain, Hon Sec. The Oyster Bay House, Chambers Wharf, Faversham, Kent ME13 7BT. Email:  brian.pain@yahoo.co.uk
Course: Start in Lower Hope (time TBA) Out towards N.Oaze Buoy and return to Mission House, Gravesend.
History: Founded by Henry Dodd, the "Golden Dustman" and first raced in 1863. The Thames race is the original match and the Bowsprit Class winner is the "Champion of the Thames".
 Information:

See www.thamesmatch.co.uk 

 

WHITSTABLE MATCH.

   
Contact: Harbour Master, Mike Gambrill, Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable Kent CT5 1AB. Tel: 01227 274086
Tide time: H.W. Margate 11.02 GMT
Course: Start 10.00 a.m. Off Whitstable Harbour
 Information:  

SWALE MATCH.

Organisers: The Kentish Sail Association
Contact:

Match Secretary. Lena Reekie, 4 The Quays, Belvedere Road, Faversham, Kent.  ME13 7LP Tel: 01795 530309 . Mobile 07968 058398

Email: lenareekie@talktalk.net 

Course: Start 7.00 from start line off Sand End Buoy in the east Swale, the course is out to marks in the estuary and return to finish off Faversham Creek.
Viewing Points: From the sea wall near the bird sanctuary at Harty Ferry Hard or on Sheppey opposite. Shell Ness on Sheppey, at Seasalter (Sportsman P.H.) or from Tankerton Slopes near Herne Bay.
 Information: www.ethel-alice.com 

SOUTHEND MATCH.

   
Contact: Hon. Sec. Linda McKay. Email: t lmckay@metronet.co.uk
Course: Start and finish off Southend Pier. Course dependant on tide
Viewing Points: Southend Pier ????
History: Originally part of Southend's Regatta. The match was revived in 1964 as part of   the Golden Jubilee Celebrations.The match is supported by Southend Corporation.
 Information: sbm@thamesbarge.org.uk

COLNE MATCH.

   
Contact:

The Secretary, Brian Webb, 12, Gorse Lane, Clacton on Sea, Essex. CO15 4RN. Tel: 01255 431907.

Email: bd.webb@sky.com.

Course: Start 8.00 (Smacks) 08.30 (Barges) From Batemans Tower, Brightlingsea to Colne Point With a mark off Clacton Pier
Viewing Points: Batemans Tower, Brightlingsea or East Mersea Stone
History: The Colne smack Race was revived in 1971 with barges taking part the following year.

 

Updated 13/02/2014