May 20 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A historic yacht has left a Southwold boatyard under her own steam after a £160,000 four-year restoration.
The 120-year-old Leila left Harbour Marine Services on Saturday under the power of her rebuilt Perkins 4108 diesel engine to a stage by the Bailey Bridge where the Victorian racing cutter will be fitted out with bunks and a galley and measured for new sails. She will then move to her new home at Lowestoft in April.
As the Leila prepares for her next journey, the charity that runs and operates her as a training vessel is appealing for young people from the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth areas to help crew her.
In July, the Leila Sailing Trust will be taking the yacht to the Tall Ships Races in the Baltic and is looking for crew members aged 15 to 25.
So far, five of the 18 berths have been filled by young people from Southwold, Reydon, Beccles and Cambridge.
To encourage applicants from the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth areas, the trust is offering a free berth as a competition prize and says it will help young people raise the funds needed to fill the other places.
David Beavan, the Leila’s skipper, said: “We have already filled five of the 18 race berths, but disappointingly no-one from Lowestoft and Yarmouth has come forward yet. This whole project is for the youth of Lowestoft and Yarmouth. It is their boat, and it will continue the proud maritime tradition of our local ports.”
Mr Beavan said the trust had been granted £500 by the Big Lottery Fair Share scheme to promote its Tall Ships Races adventure and he has spent two days distributing 100 colour posters to all secondary schools, youth clubs, sea cadets and youth organisations in the area.
The Leila will be taking part in two of this summer’s Tall Ships Races – from Denmark to Finland, and Latvia and Poland.
The Victorian gaff cutter is the fifth oldest sailing yacht in the UK on the National Historic Ships Register.
She was built in London and among her previous owners was the Alison family, of Great Yarmouth, who used to sail her in the 1980s and 1990s.
She was also used as committee boat for Gorleston Sailing Club’s Enterprise Races.
The Leila Sailing Trust has spent £150,000 restoring her, with money coming from donations and grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Historic Ships Register.
For information on the trust, or for details on how to sign up for the Tall Ships Races or to enter the draw for a free berth on Leila, visit www.Leila2C.org
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