Doggett’s Coat & Badge Wager 2023

19 July 2023
London Bridge to Cadogan Pier, Chelsea

We offer our warmest congratulations to Riess Ballard on winning the 309th Doggett’s Coat & Badge Wager, ahead of Emily Hickman in second place and Matthew Brookes who came third.

In a race that was full of excitement, it was Matthew who took the early lead, ahead of Riess and Emily, and his advantage looked unassailable as the scullers reached Waterloo, where the livery cutters tossed their oars in honour of the competitors.

But Riess stuck to his game and, as the leader began to flag approaching Vauxhall, it was the 6′ 4″ man who overhauled the early leader. As fatigue played its part, Matthew’s technique began to suffer, and a sequence of crabs was followed by a capsize. The safety boats were quickly on the scene, but Riess completed the course to win, ahead of Emily, who was plainly overcome by finishing!

Riess’s  official winning time was 32 mins 10 secs.

After the race celebratory bottles of champagne were presented by Fred Stroyan, Prime Warden of the Fishmongers’ Company, and Ted Gradosielski, Master of the Watermen’s Company. In addition Riess received a luxury handmade watch from Paul Pinchbeck, on behalf of Harold Pinchbeck, one of the race sponsors.

Riess will be presented with his scarlet coat, cap and badge, at a dinner at Fishmonger’s Hall in November.

You can listen to the audio recording of the race, and the pageant which preceded it, by following this link.

Photography by Ben Fitzpatrick