DARWIN200 Official Sport

Inspired by the departure of the Oosterschelde from Plymouth in August 2023 and the Sir Francis Drake connection from 1588, the Darwin200 Project appointed ‘Barnes Bowls’ as its Official Sport.

Darwin200 founder Andrew Fox also serves the Barnes Bowling Club as its Treasurer. This unique Club, tucked neatly behind the iconic Sun Inn pub, is the only remaining bowling club in London playing the Elizabethan game, diagonally on the green and with biased woods.

Further, the club was pleased to entrust Mr Fox with four woods and a jack to take to join the ship in Rio de Janiero in November 2023, so the game may thereafter be played throughout the voyage on landfall, to Australia and back to Falmouth in July 2025.

The ancient Barnes green was lovingly measured to create a perfect template to replicate globally, using red and white chain.

“I can confirm with enthusiasm that the committee of our club has unanimously agreed to this partnership. I also confirm that I have been elected to act as official liaison for the club. May I thank Darwin200, yourself and Andrew for this wonderful opportunity . It is a genuine honour to have been invited to “take the voyage” with you.”
Kevin Hill, Chairman of the Barnes Bowling Club, established in 1725

And for the first time on the DARWIN200 voyage, Barnes Bowls was played at the Botanical Gardens of Rio De Janiero below the iconic ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue. Joining Andrew were Sarah Darwin, great great granddaughter of Charles, John McKinley and Joe Grabowski.

Later Andrew secured a larger green for a future day of sport on the next DARWIN200 voyage in 2026-28, deep in the Atlantic Rainforest…

Finally, a brief tour of the Oosterschelde tallship in port, and the handover of the Barnes Bowls woods to the ship’s Captain for safekeeping.

Image Gallery

Barnes Bowls in action when played throughout the DARWIN200 voyage on landfall.

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