Boat-building skills learned as second skiff takes to the water

Bluejacket is rowed across Blakeney Harbour by, from left: Dr Antonia Hardcastle, Gareth Burnell,  North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick, Mike Gilbert and Prof Robin Forrest. Picture: SUBMITTED Bluejacket is rowed across Blakeney Harbour by, from left: Dr Antonia Hardcastle, Gareth Burnell, North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick, Mike Gilbert and Prof Robin Forrest. Picture: SUBMITTED

Saturday, May 24, 2014
6:30 AM

A community-built skiff has proved so popular with rowers that enthusiasts have made and launched another.

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The launch of Bluejacket (pictured) at Blakeney comes just under a year after that of her sister boat, Hoi Lantarn.

Both skiffs were built by the Coastal Rowing Association of Blakeney (CRABlakeney) and community members.

Some 80 people have had a chance to row Hoi Larntan over the past year, most of whom had never rowed before.

And her popularity prompted the association to build another.

Bluejacket has benefited from a £6,637 NNDC Big Society Fund grant which has been used to buy her a trailer and cover, and essential safety equipment.

Tom FitzPatrick, North Norfolk District Council leader, who enjoyed a row in Bluejacket during a launch event, said: “This is an excellent project.

“It has not only offered local people the opportunity to help build the skiff and learn practical boat-building skills, it also enables and encourages community groups and local people to participate in this rapidly-growing sporting activity.”

During her first year, Hoi Lantarn has taken part in the Skiff World championships at Ullapool, the Great River Race on the Thames, and an open day on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal, as well as a visit to Barton Broad and numerous trips across Blakeney Harbour.

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