Sponsored Row & Gig Race – Our annual Charity event

The 40th Sponsored Row Race on Saturday December 31st 2016, was another great success with an amazing over £8,000 pledged for the RNLI.

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Background to the 40th Sponsored Row and Gig Race


Things have changed a lot from the first Sponsored Row in 1977 to celebrate the Maldon Little Ship Club’s 50th anniversary when the crews went along the canal from Heybridge Basin, over (or around) Beeleigh weir to return to the club line along the tidal Chelmer and Blackwater.

Then there was the beer swilling “Le Mans” type start where everyone had to down a pint and make a dash for their boat and drink more beer en route at Maldon YC and the Welcome Sailor. With many crews becoming stuck under Fullbridge at H.W. and the odd capsize, Health and Safety finally kicked in and a water based start from the club line with no alcohol involved was the order for many years.

With the resurgence of the coastal rowing clubs, the appearance of more and more gigs was a welcome attraction. However their size and the competitive nature of their rowing meant that health and safety considerations dictated the need for two separate courses to keep the gigs as far away as possible from the other rowers and this is the situation as it stands today.

The Row Race, as it is affectionately called, has always been a fun event where fancy dress and an element of competition is encouraged making the row a popular Christmastime family event often watched by thousands who turn out to Maldon’s Prom and Hythe quay for the spectacle.

The enthusiastic sponsorship from the rowers and the generosity of the watching public raised £11,500 last year making a total of £189,862 raised by the event to date to help fund the lifeboat service and we also contributed directly to the shortfall in the funding of the new West Mersea lifeboat. I cannot thank you enough for all your help and support to make this happen and we should all feel a great sense of achievement.

 Saturday 31st December 2016

To see the day in photos please click your choice:

The Race
Prize Giving
After Race Party