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…

Video of a regatta at Horning, 1908

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Norfolk’s local ITV station has an interesting scrap of film shot at Horning regatta in 1908. One striking point is that the scene is very different from the one we know today – not least because it’s so devoid of trees.

Dig the steam-powered pleasure boat, elegant racers and smart standing-lug rigged sailing boats, not to mention cruising boats very like the types still sailed in the area today.

Something understood – how to paddle a Canadian canoe at an angle, and why

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Paddling a Canadian canoe

I learned something from this video, and will try paddling my own little canoe this way some day – hopefully without getting too wet.

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