All aboard for return of boat show

JONATHAN REDHEAD Lowestoft's maritime traditions will be given a huge boost at the weekend as the town's boatshow returns for its second year.

JONATHAN REDHEAD

Lowestoft's maritime traditions will be given a huge boost at the weekend as the town's boatshow returns for its second year.

Organisers hope the event will eventually become the premier boatshow and maritime festival in East Anglia and have attracted a huge range of boats, ships and other sailing craft to take part.

The event, tomorrow and Sunday in the town's Waveney Dock, will see 60 companies exhibiting, with 37 yachts and motor cruisers on the water representing marine leisure firms from across the UK.

Other highlights include the world's largest topsail schooner, Oosterschelde, which is the last remaining representative of the large fleet of schooners that sailed under the Dutch flag at the start of the last century.

The event's opening ceremony takes place at 11am tomorrow and will be carried out by Lady Anne Wake-Walker, a relative of the late Admiral Wake-Walker, who lead the Naval Forces to Dunkirk 65 years ago.

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Lady Anne has special links with one of the boats exhibiting at the show, the MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat) 102, which had the honour of flying the admiral's pennant, when he boarded her after his destroyer was hit by fire.

In 1944, the MTB 102, one of the last boats of it's type, carried Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower on their review of the ships assembled on the South Coast prior to D-Day.

Last year, the boat took part in one more battle, narrowly avoiding ruin, when fire struck at a Lowestoft boatyard where it was being restored.

This year, the organisers, County Exhibitions of Gorleston, have provided children's entertainment while the Newfoundland dogs team will be returning to show off its skills at rescuing people from the water, and a miniature submarine and battleship will do battle.

A water taxi service will also run regularly from the Lowestoft Haven Marina in Lake Lothing to the boatshow throughout the two-day event. Two craft will be providing this service, one fitted-out to carry disabled people.

Opening times are 9.30am-6pm tomorrow, 9.30am-4pm on the Sunday. Admission is £5 adults and £2.50 children.

Advance tickets can be bought on 01493 600192.

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