Friday, June 29, 2007

Coracle Fever Takes Hold

By Red Hurring

Watery hi-jinks and mayhem are on the cards again at Oamaru harbour during the second Southern Hemisphere Coracle Race, planned for December 2.
Coracle builder John Baster is staging the event with fellow coracle enthusiast Adam Ardouin.

He says the main aims of the day are the same as last year's inaugural race: to appreciate the fun to be had at the harbour and to foster coracle culture locally.

A coracle is a small walnut-shaped boat of ancient Welsh origin, traditionally made from lashed branches and canvas and propelled by one oar from the front.

Last year's race attracted 17 entries of home-built prehistoric watercraft.
As every entrant was a coracle novice, the event proved to be an experiment in ingenuity and hardiness against the combined forces of a strong northeasterly and the Waitaki District Rural Fire Authority's hoses.

John hopes to see more of the same resourcefulness in evidence at this year's race.He is encouraging people to start building their coracles now, to allow plenty of time for testing their seaworthiness.

An information pack with instructions for building a coracle will be made available soon, and those building a second coracle may have their craft on loan to newcomers at this year's race.

Contact: John Baster, Coracle race organiser: ph (03) 4342273

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