July 24, 2020 / 9:13 AM / 11 days ago

Rowing: Historic Doggett's Coat and Badge Wager postponed amid pandemic

(Reuters) - Organisers of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager said on Friday they have had to postpone the annual rowing race along the Thames for just the second time in more than 300 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to postpone the race, which had been scheduled for Sept. 3, was made due to British Rowing’s advice against training on the river, while the expected delays in the arrival of boats from manufacturers in China was also a factor.

Organisers said they planned to return in 2021 with two events — on March 16 and Sept. 8.

Started in 1715 by Thomas Doggett as a competition for young watermen working the Thames, the race was previously interrupted only by World War Two and the 7,400m course is unchanged since its inception.

Competitors start at Tower Bridge and row to Chelsea Pier passing 11 bridges. The 1971 winner Ken Dwan also represented Britain at the Mexico Games in 1968 and in Munich in 1972.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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