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The Norfolk boat supporting Greta Thunberg ahead of Atlantic voyage to see Donald Trump

PUBLISHED: 13:14 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:32 14 August 2019

Rob Spelman-Marriott, from Norfolk's Landamores boarbuilders, in a Mayfly 21-type vessel in Plymouth. Behind it is the sailing vessel Malizia II, which Greta Thunburg and a crew will sail to New York. Picture: Supplied by Rob Spelman-Marriott

Rob Spelman-Marriott, from Norfolk's Landamores boarbuilders, in a Mayfly 21-type vessel in Plymouth. Behind it is the sailing vessel Malizia II, which Greta Thunburg and a crew will sail to New York. Picture: Supplied by Rob Spelman-Marriott

Archant

As she prepares to set sail on an epic voyage across the Atlantic, something made here in Norfolk is helping keep Greta Thurnberg's mission afloat.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is sailing across the Atlantic to take part in UN climate change talks in New York. Picture: PASwedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is sailing across the Atlantic to take part in UN climate change talks in New York. Picture: PA

The 16-year-old Swedish climate change campaigner will set off from Plymouth for New York, probably at around 2pm today (Wednesday, August 14), conditions permitting.

And one of the boats ferrying media and other visitors to and from the sailing vessel Malizia II around the waters off Plymouth is a state-of-the art electric vessel made by Hoveton-based boatbuilders Landamores.

Rob Spelman-Marriott, the firm's business development manager, is in Plymouth helming the Naiad, a 21-foot long Mayfly 21-type vessel.

Mr Spelman-Marriott, 33, who lives near Coltishall, said there was a chance he could even be the one to ferry Ms Thunberg and her crew to the Malizia II before she sets sail.

He said it was a thill to be part of such a high profile event in support of Ms Thurberg, who has become the public face of climate change activism.

Mr Spelman-Marriott said: "It's an unbelievable undertaking.

"She's 16 years old and she's undertaking an incredible journey across the Atlantic to go and see Donald Trump to talk to him about climate change.

"I used to race yachts for a living so I understand what she is going to go through and it's going to be hard.

Rob Spelman-Marriott from Hoveton-based boatbuilders Landamores in a boat, slighter smaller than the Mayfly being used to support climate activist Greta Thunberg's Atlantic voyage. Picture: perfectposephotographyRob Spelman-Marriott from Hoveton-based boatbuilders Landamores in a boat, slighter smaller than the Mayfly being used to support climate activist Greta Thunberg's Atlantic voyage. Picture: perfectposephotography

"It must take real courage and focus and motivation."

The Naiad is equipped with a motor made by German firm Torqeedo, the market leaders in electrical propulsion, and has just been launched.

Mr Spelman-Marriott said it could do up to 7mph and had a range of eight to 10 hours.

Ms Thunberg has been invited to take part in the United Nations climate change talks in September, and she did not want to fly because of the huge environmental impact of commercial airliners.

A rendering of a Mayfly 21, which is being used to support climate activist Greta Thunberg's Atlantic voyage. Picture: perfectposephotographyA rendering of a Mayfly 21, which is being used to support climate activist Greta Thunberg's Atlantic voyage. Picture: perfectposephotography

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