Support King’s Lynn rowing club race

Launch by Lynn Coastal Rowing Club of the St Ayles Skiff, King's Lynn ANL-151204-174531009
Launch by Lynn Coastal Rowing Club of the St Ayles Skiff, King's Lynn ANL-151204-174531009

Rowers are calling on people to turn out and support a race to mark the launch of their new boat.

Members of King’s Lynn Coastal Rowing Club will be putting on a spectacle on Saturday, April 30, when their second St Ayle’s Skiff embarks on her maiden race.

Over the last two years, members of the club have been busy making the skiff, which has 22ft with a bean of 5ft 8in and is manned by four rowers and a coxswain.

The club will be racing this new boat alongside the skiff launched the last year, Réwet, against colleagues from Denver and Blakeney Rowing Clubs on the River Great Ouse.

Club treasurer Tom Perrem is hoping to make quite a splash of the launch ceremony and is urging people to attend.

He said: “It would be brilliant to have some support from spectators as we are racing.

“They will be able to see the boat being launched and the race if they watch from the quay.”

The boat has mainly been built by four people with help from students on the Pre-Uniform course at the College of West Anglia.

The students are hoping to use the boats in a charity race later this year.

They finished the boat last week and are now putting the final touches ahead of the ceremony at 11am on April 30.

West Norfolk Mayor Colin Manning will be joined by MP Henry Bellingham will be conducting the main launch ceremony from the slipway in Common Staithe Quay.

This will followed by the race from the quay up to the bridge.

Mr Perrem said: “This is an exciting point in the club’s short life.”

The club was the brainchild of Bob Panrucker, who received grants from the Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op to build the boats.

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

The boat is named after the former chapel, which is part of the entrance to the museum in Fife.

Club members have been busy racing Réwet, which recently took part in the Carrow Cup event in Norwich.

There are no plans to create a third boat but members do still have ambitions of reviving the Lynn rowing regatta, which ended in 1800s and has links to the famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat race.

It is hoped that this could happen next year.