After eight hours the six crews racing in GBRow 2013 were still in the River Thames after starting at Tower Bridge in the heart of London at 8.16 this morning.
The Islanders, a team of four young men, led by adventurer Josh Taylor from Essex, were in the lead off Southend – one mile ahead of Oarsome Adventures, a team of four men and two women from west Wales.
Retired Royal Navy Commander David Hosking’s team, Hallin Marine, were in third place but catching up fast – less than a third of a mile behind Oarsome Adventures.
Savoir Faire – Jason McKinley and Josh Tarr – were ahead of Pure Gym, a team of four skippered by Claire Shouksmith.
Trailing 12 miles behind the leaders after eight hours were the Coast Girls, Sally Kettle and Charlene Ayres in their distinctive red ocean going boat.
For the next four hours the tide in the Thames Estuary will be against the competitors.
Chris Usborne, Race Director of GBRow 2013, said: “The rowers will have to endure the world’s busiest shipping lanes, treacherous tides, live military firing ranges and storms before they return to London.
“The weather for the first days of the race is perfect for setting a world record pace.”