The inaugural event aims to mark the Battle of Trafalgar

Racing will be held this weekend on the River Thames to mark the Battle of Trafalgar.

Thirty-six boats of all different shapes and sizes have signed up to compete in the first-ever Thames Trafalgar Race 2013.

The event is being jointly organised by Erith Yacht Club and the

Little Ship Club.

Following a race briefing tonight, the competition is scheduled to begin at 1400hrs tomorrow from two starting lines – one at Shadwell Basin for the fast fleet start and the other at Greenwich Yacht Club for the slow fleet start.

The boats will race to the finish at Erith Yacht Club tomorrow evening, where a Trafalgar-themed dinner will take place, before the return voyage to Greenwich on Sunday.

The biggest entry at 11.40m (37ft) is an Illingworth Maica Sloop, ‘Chamois’, skippered by LSC member Iain Pickard. The smallest is ‘Scamp’, a 6m (19ft) Hunter Medina from Greenwich YC skippered by Steve Wilson.

Forecast

The forecast for the weekend in London for tomorrow is fair with 9-12 knots of wind from the south or south-west, while Sunday looks set to bring 14 knots of wind from the south-southwest.

On Saturday night, the participants will be toasting the immortal memory of Admiral Lord Nelson.

President of the Little Ship Club and legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is supporting the race and will be supplying a smallcannon to fire a salute to mark the historic British Naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, fought on 21 October 1805.

Sir Robin said: ‘It’ll be a great event, the Thames should

be used more.’

The

Thames Trafalgar Race will see competitors pass

through the Thames Barrier – a neutral zone where no sailing is allowed and

engines must be used.

Knox-Johnston Cup

Sir Robin will present the ‘Knox-Johnston Cup’ to the best

club team in the race.

The ‘Knox-Johnston Cup’ is the

first sailing award ever commissioned by the round the world sailor, who is also Little Ship Club president and founder and chairman of Clipper Round the

World Yacht Race.

Find out more at littleshipclub.co.uk/content/thames-trafalgar-race-2013

Pictures: Chamois, an Illingworth Maica and is 50 years old – 1963. 37 foot wooden sloop with counter stern. Owned and sailed by Iain and Tina Pickard

Erith Yacht Club, where the race will be finishing. Credit: Erith Yacht Club Facebook page