The First Melbourne Wooden Boat Festival

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Wooden Boat Association members of the Melbourne and East Gippsland areas out on the water – click on the image for a video of local members’ boats

The people of Melbourne are going to have fun this coming weekend – for their Victoria Harbour is to be home to the first Melbourne Wooden Boat Festival.

The event involves all of the major wooden boat and classic yacht groups in the area, and is intended to be a great event for boating enthusiasts but also connect the broader public with the spirit of wooden boats, boating and traditional boatbuilding.

It sounds like a big old do, with on-water and landside displays, model sailing and racing boats, trade displays, shanty singers, in-harbour sailing, working boats displays, boat maintenance classes, a shipwright’s conference. Naturally there will be sailing, rowing, steamships, tall ships, knot tying, boatbuilding, book stores, classic powerboats and, thankfully, the coastguard will be on hand to tell people how to do it all safely. It’s all being organised by the enterprising¬†woodenboat.com.au.

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I’m tickled by Dylan’s ad launching his new Keep Turning Left website

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It is entertaining, it doesn’t last too long and it is in a good cause! And if you can’t be bothered with the video, go straight to http://www.keepturningleft.co.uk.

The English Raid – a ‘raid’ rowing and sailing event on the Solent

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Raid Finland revisited Raid Finland revisited Raid Finland revisited

Photos from Raid Finland some years ago (photos from Richard Wynne); there’s a report on the latest Raid Finland at Duckworks

Henley Whalers group members George Trevelyan and Geoff Probert have organised a rowing and sailing ‘raid‘ event on the English South Coast for modern and wooden boats. It’s scheduled for the few days between 28th July and the 1st August 2010, starting from the Western end of the Solent.

A raid is an organised rowing and sailing passage in company in open boats, sometimes made of wood and traditional, sometimes more modern, powered by sail and oar, and supported by an organiser’s launch or rescue boat. In addition, arrangements are made to carry participants luggage from one overnight stopover to another!

Raids are generally non-competitive events, but often include fun prizes to recognise special qualities and achievements, and there are sometimes short sailing or rowing races.

I should explain that the word ‘raid’ here comes from the French organisers of the pioneer events and isn’t meant to imply anyone plans to attack homes and villages en route.

The idea of the raids first became popular in Portugal and Scotland in the 1990s and successful events have been held on the Douro River in Portugal, the Great Glen of Scotland, and in Sweden, Finland, Italy and Holland. To enter boats need to be equipped for sail and oar, and must be able to support their crew out of water after a capsize, and to be righted unaided to carry on sailing. They will be expected to cover around 15 miles daily.

One of the organisers’ objectives is to attract users who own traditional open sailing boats on the Solent, particularly scows and prams, along with the whalers, gigs, yawls and so on more frequently seen at raid-style events. The maximum number of entries for the new event is 20 boats, so I would expect the places to sell out quickly. It you’d like to be involved, contact English Raid via its website: http://www.raidengland.org