Swale Barge Match 2014 – Places Available

Join us aboard Centaur for the 2014 Swale Smack & Barge Match – 1st, 2nd & 3rd of August

Centaur Medway Match 2014The Thames Sailing Barge Trust are offering a 3-day trip aboard Thames Sailing Barge Centaur for just £200 including meals. You can join her crew on Thursday evening and enjoy the delights of Ipswich Quay.

Early on Friday 1st of August we will be leaving Ipswich Dock and heading down the picturesque River Orwell, passing the riverside hamlet of Pin Mill, the enormous Felixstowe container port and the quaint Harwich harbour.

swale2Following the coastline past Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton, we will be heading through the ancient Swin Channel before crossing the River Thames. We will pass close to the WWII Maunsell Forts (Red Sand Towers). You will also see the Thames shipping heading to and from their destinations.

Heading into the Swale, we will anchor in company with the other barges and smacks for the night and enjoy the unspoilt surroundings of this part of Kent. There is very little light pollution here and if the sky is clear, it is a great place to brush up on your astronomy.

Swale match 1

Following the evening meal, there will no doubt be some songs sung, stories told and lots of laughter all by the light of the paraffin lamps.

The Match begins at 06.00 on Saturday morning. Centaur has recently enjoyed two first places in her class following the renewal of her bottom planking, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Grant in 2013/14. Her crew will be hoping to make it a hat trick at the Swale Match, which is promising to be an exciting event.

The match itself will depend on weather conditions, but with so many smacks and barges out on the water, there will be unlimited photo opportunities.10480137_784078738289754_6884705433277053683_n

The evening will be spent ashore at Hollowshore. There is normally live music and a chance to take in the day’s events at the prize-giving. The delightfully unique Shipwrights Arms is also here, and well worth a visit to soak up the atmosphere of this historic maritime watering hole. swale 4

After an early start on Sunday morning, we will retrace our wake back to Ipswich, where we will arrive on Sunday evening.

This promises to be a fun and action-packed, long weekend and all for just £200 per person.

To book your place or for more details please contact Chris Martin 07810 586318 or email crewing@bargetrust.org.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard.


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