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A Spring Tide


Liz and I met at High Wycombe station to head into London as we had a meeting booked with the Port of London Authority. We were both rather excited about the meeting, chatting about the row and talking through ideas that… we missed stops, got on wrong trains and arrived out of puff and sweaty about 15minutes late, oops!

Ryan and Jon were fine about this though and after getting us both a glass of much needed water, we sat down and told them all about our mad plan. They appeared to like the idea and proceeded to give us a load of information that might help… as well as giving us a heap load more to do!!!

  • We must make sure we have a licence to film on the Tidal Thames
  • We must have the right equipment, a GPS type thing that sends out a signal from the support boat so that big ships know we are there.
  • We should get a Thames Waterman on board so they can use a certain channel to let the people at the Thames Barrier know we are coming through.
  • We need to do a passage plan.
  • We need to do a risk assessment.

But the most important thing was… we decided on a date! The PLA have the tide tables for next year and looking at September there was one weekend that worked for us. We wanted to get the strongest tide possible to help me down the Tidal Thames and at 05:20 on the 19th September 2016 there is a Spring Tide. A Spring Tide occurs twice a month when the sun, moon and earth are all in line – this creates the largest difference between the high and low tides. If we time it right and hit the Spring Tide from Teddington on the 19th September, I will have a huge body of water behind me, helping me down the last 50 or so miles. People I have mentioned this to have said, “that’s cheating”, four words for you… ‘Malcolm Knight did it!!!’

We travelled back from London knowing that we had to plan backwards so that I would arrive a Teddington Lock at 04:00. This would give us an hour’s grace, in case I was late arriving; if we were on time or early though I might get the chance to have a 10minute kip before the last leg of this epic journey, and maybe if I am lucky a leg massage at the same time (I think that is just wishful thinking).

Soooo much to do, but the difference now… we have a date, and now we can start making a real plan and gathering the people that would be able to help with all the things that must be done!

First thing to get on top of is the Passage Plan. If we do one for the whole route and not just the tidal part, it will become our bible and everyone involved will have a copy with their section highlighted.

I realised I have not spoken much about training, if I am honest with myself… I know I have a lot of work to do. My boat, my lovely Filippi single is ready and waiting for me at Marlow Rowing club, I am just a little scared of taking her out for the first time. Will I be too heavy? Will I fall in? Will I make a prat of myself?

If you would like to know how you can get involved in this, please contact us at and we can send you all the information you might need.

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