Following a heated start to The Only Way is Essex series 22, producers attempted to simmer down tensions with a boat race.

The TOWIE boys have been at each other’s throats during the first five episodes, with Pete Wicks and Liam Gatsby almost coming to blows in a public feud.

The same can be said for new-boy Jordan Wright and Myles Barnett. And Jon Clark and Dan Edgar for that matter.

To finally put their fierce rivalries to bed, however, the lads set up an Oxford vs Cambridge-style boat race.

Yeah, it was horrendously cringe-worthy…

The Pirates

Team one, The Pirates, was led by none other than captain Pete ‘The Pirate’.

His four-strong crew included stern pair Myles and ‘Diags’, alongside Danny Ed.

James ‘Lockie’ Lock opted out of this one, although he did have good reason…

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: “How come you’re not involved in this?” – The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: LOCKIE – The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

The King’s

Team two, The King’s, were described as a “bunch of misfits” by their opposition, although they seemed to click in the changing rooms.

Jon, Jordan and Dean Ralph laughed out loud as Gatsby re-told his historic story of stealing Pete’s pizza.

This one will never get old…

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

The Race

With the average Olympic rower standing at 6ft6, it was difficult to call a winner early on.

The Pirates may have had the height advantage (Gatsby is like 4ft) although The King’s packed a little extra gym brawn in the form of Dean and Jordan.

With the first team across the line crowned the “Champions of Essex”, a packed out crowd of about 50 huddled around the Chelmsford Canoe Club.

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Neck and Neck

Both teams sped down the river, almost colliding during the first section of the race.

It couldn’t have been any closer…

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Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Navigation Error

However, coxswain Pete – AKA the guy sat at the front – soon led his team off course as they smashed into the side of the river.

Not once, by the way, but twice…

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Home Straight

Unable to make amends for their fatal error, The King’s comfortably paddled down the last few metres to claim victory.

All that was left was a completely over the top celebration – just to rub it in.

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

With the race over the camera panned out to James ‘Arg’ Argent who had the perfect one-liner to summarise the race.

We love Arg!

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: ARG – The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

The Forfeit 

Of course, no historical sporting race is complete without a forfeit.

So, although probably nothing like the Oxford boys do, here’s Pete dressed in a humiliating baby onesie costume.

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: PETE WICKS – The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

It’s even complete with one of those stupid hat things, a juice bottle and dummy.

Goddam that beard is freaky…

Screen Shot: The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

Screen Shot: PETE WICKS – The Only Way is Essex, ITVbe

WATCH The Only Way is Essex every Sunday night, on ITVbe, at 9 pm.