How Fogo Islanders secured the future of their traditional punt

‘As the winning teams take the podium, bowing their heads to receive a wooden medallion Aidan carved from Fogo Island wood in his shop, it seems there are multiple reasons for Fogo Islanders to cheer. After four years, the inn is turning a profit; cod, the very foundation of this place, appears to be recovering; Shorefast initiatives are building palpable optimism and have put Fogo Island in the international spotlight. And punt culture is safe home for another day.’

Smacks and sailing barges have benefited mightily from something similar – but there might be some useful ideas for admirers of some other types of traditional craft here…

Article:  The race that saved the Fogo Island punt.

Fogo Island Regatta – a ten-mile rowing race on the open sea

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Fogo Islanders hold an annual ten-mile rowing race in traditional carvel-built rowing boats. I recommend you take a moment to enjoy the videos, and the deteminedly traditional rules. This isn’t a race that just anyone with a boat can enter:

‘A punt may be disqualified from The Great Fogo Island Punt Race to There and Back if it contains fiberglass, particularly if the hull has a fiberglass coating.’

‘The seam between each plank can be spunyarn, marlin or oakum. Petroleum-based sealants are not permitted.’


‘For a punt to be eligible to enter The Great Fogo Island Punt Race to There and Back it must be built by a local boat builder on Fogo Island or Change Islands.’

Fogo Island Regatta

PS – I’ve just discovered this very nice if slightly tricky website about traditional boatbuilding in neighbouring Winterton. Read the story explaining boatbuilding, or use the line of little white boxes to navigate the collection of photographs. There’s even a little song to learn…