Jack makes a splash in historic Doggett's rowing race

Last updated: 19 February 2018

Jack makes a splash in historic Doggett's rowing race

Keech Presentation.jpg

The world’s longest-running rowing race, the Doggett’s Coat & Badge Wager, took place (25 July) with Tideway as the event’s principal sponsor.  

Four young scullers, watched by hundreds of spectators lining the bank of the Thames, set off from London Bridge and embarked on the 4.6-mile race to Cadogan Pier in Chelsea.

Jack Keech of the Tideway Scullers School rowing in orange won by a distance in his first attempt, beating co-favourite Alfie Anderson of the London Rowing Club into second place.

The 22-year-old is from a family of Doggett’s competitors; his father competed twice and he has no less than three cousins who are previous winners.

Ultimately, this genetic experience shone through and as he crossed the line as the clear winner, he was followed by hundreds of friends, family, and supporters.

Asked after the race whether he thought about going for the record (23 minutes), Jack said: “I got to Westminster in 11 minutes, which is about half way, so that was good.

“But after that my back started to tighten up so I was just focussed on getting over the line – but I definitely considered it.”

He said he was now focussed on the national championships, having just finished his university course.

This was the 303rd annual Doggett’s Coat & Badge Wager – making it more than 140 years older than the Oxford-Cambridge boat race.

Entrants must be younger than 26 and, in the previous three years, finished a five-year apprenticeship to work on the Thames. Winners may not enter the race again and competitors are only allowed three tries.

The event is hosted by The Fishmongers’ Company, whose Prime Warden HRH The Princess Royal was present for the race. Also attending was the Olympic rower Major Heather Stanning. Afterwards both VIPs met young members of rowing clubs who participated in a London Youth Rowing ergo relay challenge at Fishmongers’ Hall as the main race was underway. This competition was also run by Team Orange, supporting Jack Keech.

Nick Tennant, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs at Tideway, said: “The annual Doggett’s Race is one of the biggest events in the year for families whose link with the river goes back generations. The day is a great celebration of the skills of watermen who work on the river day in, day out, contributing so much to its economy.”

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