All eyes on river for Torch finale
By Lauren Turner, Press Association
The final day of the Olympic Torch relay will have echoes of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, with all eyes on the Thames for the second time this summer.
Gloriana, the Queen’s Rowbarge, will be rowed by 16 oarsmen and women at a time, out of a 28-person squad onboard. British Olympic rowers of the past – dating back to the 1948 Games – will sit alongside young crew members from London Youth Rowing.
Gloriana will be accompanied by a mini flotilla of boats, chosen to reflect London’s waterborne history, and will carry a ceremonial cauldron which is to be lit by the Olympic flame.
One of the boats is Trinity Tide, which has a six-man crew. The Thames Waterman Cutter, owned and managed by Trinity House, home of the General Lighthouse Authority, was invited to take part after joining the pageant over the Jubilee weekend.
Joe Lane, captain of the Trinity House rowing crew, said it was “a privilege” to play such an important role on the day of the opening ceremony.
He said: “It’s such a great honour and a privilege to be captaining the crew. How many people get to do this? We’re virtually taking part in the opening ceremony – the next time we see the torch, it will be in Stratford. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it. It will be quite amazing.”
The cutter is manned by Mr Lane, Toby Gould, Stuart Turner, Eddy Heisterkamp, Nir Barak and Edgar King, Trinity House’s events manager – with a mixture of English, Dutch, Irish, Norwegian, South African and Israeli nationals in the crew.
Mr Lane said: “Everyone in the boat is aware of how privileged we are to be rowing for Trinity House. It’s nice that we’ve got a crew with international backgrounds – it was something to bear in mind when I was picking the members.
“Some of them are feeling a bit nervous because of what the event means. There may not be as much pomp and ceremony as during the Jubilee Weekend, but it’s right up there.
“It’s a great thing for Trinity House, to have a boat linked to lighthouse-keepers being the ‘keepers’ of the flame as it travels down the Thames.”
a link that may helpful for timings of the flotilla http://www.chiswickpier.org.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/olympic-torch-flotilla-friday-27th-july-at-10-15-am/