The Gloriana lead the 1,000-strong flotilla. The 94ft Royal rowbarge, the first to be built for more than a century, is unique among the participating vessels in that it is the only one specially commissioned for the event. Gloriana was rowed by eighteen oarsmen. Gloriana’s oarsmen, selected by Motability, the disabled mobility charity whose patron is the Queen, had just a few practices in the boat before the event. Britain’s greatest Olympian Sir Steven Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent led the crew.