Doggett's Coat and Badge
is the prize and name for the oldest rowing
race in the world. Up to six apprentice Watermen
of the River Thames
compete for this prestigious honour, which has been held every year since 1715. The 4 miles 5 furlongs (7,400 m) race is held on the Thames
between London Bridge
and Cadogan Pier, Chelsea
, passing under a total of 11 bridges en route. Originally, it was raced every 1 August against the outgoing (falling or ebb) tide, in the boats used by watermen
passengers across the Thames. Today it is raced at a date and time in late July that coincides with the incoming (rising or flood) tide, in contemporary single sculling boats.
The is a traditional Watermen's red coat with a silver badge added, displaying the horse of the House of Hanover
and the word "Liberty", in honour of the accession of George I
to the throne. In addition, each competitor to complete the course receives a miniature of a Doggett's Badge for their lapel in a ceremony at Watermen's Hall, in silver for the winner and in bronze for the others. Monetary prizes are also made by the Fishmongers' Company
to the rowing clubs of those taking part, with £250 to the winner's club, £150 for second, £100 for third and £50 for fourth.
In addition to the prizes received, winning Doggett's Coat and Badge in the 18th and 19th centuries would help attract more trade to the talented Waterman. While this is no longer the case, winning the Doggett's Coat and... Read More