Tearing Up The Thames; from the Extreme to the Elegant

This summer there are two major race events on the Thames, each making Greenwich their first or last port-of-call. The two events could not be more different; one involves speed, power and noise, the other is elegance and history. They do have one thing in common though – spectacle. Both are going to be fantastic events this summer – mark them in your diary now!

Senses overload; the Venture Cup brings power, speed and lots of noise

On Saturday 7th June, 30 high-powered speedboats are going to be fired up and raced out of Maritime Greenwich on the first leg of a 2-week prestigious race that will see them arrive in Monte Carlo. River spray will fill the air and the deafening sound of finely-honed, powerful engines will bombard you… the start of the Venture Cup is going to be a sight (and sound) to behold!

What is it? The Venture Cup is the longest, toughest powerboat race in the world. The boats travel from London to the Channel Islands, then down to Les Sable D’Olonne, France; Corunna in Northern Spain; Cascais in Portugal; Puerto Banus, Majorca and Barcelona in Spain; St. Tropez in France and then finally Monte-Carlo in Monaco. The journey takes them through incredibly difficult conditions, with huge Atlantic swells in the Bay of Biscay and the treacherous seas of the Mediterranean. It is a bone-shattering marathon of a race for those involved; boats and crews alike face forces in excess of 40g!

Who should watch? If you are a Londoner that likes the quiet life, perhaps you should close your windows. This is for people who like speed and power, who delight in fast cars or love to watch Formula 1 (until the late 1970’s and the introduction of Formula 1, powerboat racing was on par with motorcar racing).

It is also going to appeal to those who like a touch of glamour… expensive powerboats heading to Monaco… pass the champagne darling!

What do they say about it? Aidan Foley, Event Director for the Venture Cup said: “At one level the Venture Cup is the ultimate glamour race, on another it’s a return to the romance of a true challenge, but at all levels it’s a genuine adventure”.

What do we say about it? It’s going to be fast and furious! The best place to see it all is from the river, so book your place on-board one of our boats and join us as we travel down to the start line. Get yourself in the grandstand!

A flurry of sails; Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival offers grandeur and history

From 28th August to 5th September, the Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta will be racing toward London. As the ships sail into Greenwich, so begins 5 days of exciting activities. Royal Greenwich is going to be the largest Tall Ship event in London in 25 years and, knowing how much the city loves its maritime history, this is going to be one of the capital’s biggest events of the year.

What is it? The Tall Ships Regatta is a race open to any individual who is keen to join the crew of a Tall Ship. The ships set off from Falmouth and race to the Isle of Wight before cruising in company to Royal Greenwich. Around 50 ships will then gather in the Thames for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, which will offer live music, entertainment, markets, rides, attractions and corporate hospitality.

Who should watch? Tall Ships are part of our maritime history and the boats are a fascinating tribute to the excellent workmanship of the past. If you love boats and sailing, the large, traditionally rigged sailing vessels will have you enthralled. The creak of the heavily lacquered wood, the enormous sails, and the thick ropes – there will be endless things to marvel at. Of course the same applies if you are a fan of pirates…!

The event will also appeal to those that enjoy big, public events. This is going to be one of the major events on the London calendar for 2014 and it’s going to have something for everyone.

What do they say about it? Councillor Chris Roberts, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said “Building on the success of the Olympics, playing host to London’s first festival for 25 years will provide us with a fantastic opportunity to boost the local economy even further as the tall ships sail past our historic maritime landmarks, including the Old Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark.”

What do we say about it? There is going to be a huge firework display each evening and the best place to watch is from the river. The lights shine across the sky, silhouetting the boat masts – it is simply spectacular. Do we need to tell you more? Get yourself booked in for unparalleled views of the Tall Ships!

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