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IN PHOTOS: Oarsome fancy dress contest in Thames’ Great River Race

PUBLISHED: 12:59 17 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:59 17 September 2015

The Great Thames Boat Race sets out from Millwall

The Great Thames Boat Race sets out from Millwall

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More than 2,500 competitors braved the Great River Race course on Saturday in gigs, skiffs, jolly boats, naval whalers, Chinese dragon boats, Hawaiian war canoes and Viking longships to find the UK Traditional Boat Champions.

A formal head-to-head challenge from the Dutch Marines was also accepted by the Royal Navy, making the event even more dramatic.

The route started at Millwall Slipway, opposite the Docklands Sailing Centre, in Westferry Road, and finished 21.6 miles later, in Richmond.

Race founder, Stuart Wolff, said: “I believe it is probably the only event where young people can actually race alongside adults on an equal basis. We have 35 other trophies for all ages and crews in fancy dress. What is great to see, is a lot of the really competitive crews have started to race in costumes. It is a social occasion as well.”

A Hawaiian outrigger won the premier prize, the Challenge Trophy of The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames, which is awarded to the first boat over the line.

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