The 301st winner of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge, Louis Pettipher, age 24, of Gravesend, who trains out of Medway RC. The official time was 24 minutes and 23 seconds. His first attempt was last year when he came second – so he was always a likely contender for 2015.
Tim Koch writes:
The 300th year of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge saw a ‘Wager’ worthy of the anniversary. A full race report will follow in a few days – or earlier if I can persuade my employers to stop bothering me. Until then, here is the briefest of summaries and a few pictures to enjoy. Someone who
has found the time to write a long and interesting piece on the day is Philip Barker and his impressions can be read on insidethegames.biz.
Second place went to Ben Folkard, who was fourth last year. He can race again next year and must be a strong contender for 2016. He was part of a marvellous battle between the final three and, after Pettipher eventually established a strong lead, Folkard and Maynard had a gripping fight for second place. He had an unofficial time of approximately 24.45.
Third place was Charlie Maynard who (unofficially) was about seven seconds behind Folkard at the finish with a time of 24.52. He fought all the way but, sadly, this was Maynard’s last race and he has come third in all three of his attempts. A great fighter, the sort you wish had another chance. His great-great-grandfather won in 1833.
Dom Coughlin was also in his last attempt and his fourth place in an approximate time of 31.50 was an improvement on his last two races when he was the last man home. Perhaps he was never destined to win, but a competitor in the true spirit of Doggett’s.
First-timer Perry Flynn was fifth in a time around 34 minutes. A first-timer with a lot of training to do but – and this applies to every competitor in the Coat and Badge – to finish Doggett’s and even better to finish upright is some sort of victory when racing over 7400 metres of bends, swells and obstacles.
Last place went to another first-timer, Frankie Ruler who finished around 41 minutes. The comments that I made about Flynn also apply to Ruler, probably more so. I particularly hope that they both learned a lesson about getting onto the start – there is no place for hesitation in a free start when the umpire is trying to align six boats on a tide.
Then and now:
In Doggett’s 300th year, @Thames Pics put out this cutting from an 1815 newspaper reporting on the 100th year of Doggett’s. The 200th year fell during the First World War and so went unmarked.
Fishmongers’ Hall and London Bridge in 1838.
Fishmongers’ Hall and London Bridge in 2015.
1934: The start, facing Fishmongers’ Hall. London Bridge is packed with supporters.
2015: The start, facing Fishmongers’ Hall. Admittedly, this picture was taken two hours before the race but London Bridge was not packed with cheery Cockney characters at any time of the day.
1937: Supporters of William Silvester (centre). On the left, brother Henry Thomas, on the right, father Henry, all Doggett’s winners.
2015: Supporters of Charlie Maynard (centre). On the left, Rona, on the right Rowie, all Tideway Scullers club mates.