The formidable Langstone Cutters, who I spotted in training in Chichester Harbour a few weeks ago, are ahead in the London2Paris race for London Waterman's Cutters, a particularly splendid type of craft with six oarsmen and space for grandees to lounge under ornate canopies in the stern, though for racing purposes both passengers and canopies are left on shore.
The race rules limit the number of oarsmen in each squad to ten, crews changing every so often.
The official timings from London to Le Havre give the Langstonians a lead of a couple of hours over rivals LeFigarow, and apparently the crew were first over the line at Rouen earlier today as well. The boats are pictured above off Deal somewhere, in a photo from the race website - the yellow cutter in the foreground is Le Figarow, the Langstone Cutters in the background.
Despite this blog's aversion to racing and, indeed, physical exertion of any kind, this is a splendid effort. Good luck to both crews!
Langstone Cutters are blogging progress here, and LeFigarow here.