Near miss in race

The first re-rigged sailing barge to appear in recent times almost hit Southend Pier during the 49th Southend-on-Sea Sailing Barge Match.

The steel-built Niagara came in close to give hundreds of spectators a dramatic view at the end of the race.

‘My God, she’s going to hit us,’ said an onlooker racing to the railings to get pictures.

And true to say she came in very close, causing some anglers to hastily reel in their lines.

But she glided by gracefully leaving the Victorian planking a stones’ throw away.

Four barges made the event: Marjorie, Edith May, Lady of the Lea and Niagara.