Hopes to relaunch King’s Lynn rowing regatta to help with waterfront regeneration

The Rewet is ready to take to the water in the open day on April 11
The Rewet is ready to take to the water in the open day on April 11
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The regeneration of Lynn’s waterfront could be getting a further boost if hopes of re-launching the town’s rowing regatta comes to fruition.

Lynn Coastal Rowing Club is hoping to reinstate the regatta, which ended in 1800s and has links to the famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat race.

Members will be giving the taste of a mini regatta when it will be launching its St Ayles Skiff on Saturday, April 11.

The group has spent months building Réwet after receiving grants from the Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op.

The Réwet will be joined on the water by rowing boats from Blakeney and Denver.

One of those behind the project is Bob Panrucker who said: “Our end goal is to re-instate the famous rowing regatta on the Great Ouse.

“It finished in 1890s and has connections to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat race along with the Henley Regatta.

“This would really help with the regeneration of the waterfront and we have support from council members who are keen to see more people down there.

“It would be good to see the historic quay in use for recreation purposes and I think it would be brilliant if we could get that going.”

Building and racing St Ayles Skiffs has become increasingly popular across the world since the boat design was commissioned by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in 2010.

Mr Panrucker launched the Lynn club in 2013 and it now has 17 members.

A core group of six volunteers have been working on the building project and will be starting on creating the second St Ayles Skiff shortly.

Mr Panrucker said: “It is very exciting to be at this stage. It has not been a difficult build and it has all gone according to plan.

“We are really looking forward to starting on the second boat. That’s our part of the programme.”

The club is now looking for rowers of all ages to take to the water as the boat will be manned by a crew of five, with four oars and a coxswain.

Mr Panrucker said: “We are hoping to get lots of youngsters involved in the rowing, but it is also very suitable low impact exercise for older people.”

The open day on April 11 will start at 9am.

Six boats will be launched from Common Staithe Quay at 10am and will race down to the fishing boats at Boal Quay before turning around and heading back.

Spectators will be able to view the action along South Quay as well as the Crown and Mitre and Ouse Amateur Sailing Club.

Leader of West Norfolk Council Nick Daubney said he would be delighted to see the regatta re-instated: “It has got to be a good thing and will be an attraction for people to the waterfront. We have several things in place this year to make a difference to use and enjoyment of the waterfront.”

Later in the year a Kogger from Holland will be mooring in the town as part of the Hanseatic festival.