A rowing crew from Whitby is set to take part in a sea-faring tribute to mark the 200th anniversary of the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo.
A Fisherlad’s crew will be manning one of 12 boats to re-create the journey that a Cornish Pilot gig undertook as the famous battle came to an end.
The New Waterloo Despatch will be held off the Kent coastline on June 20 and the Whitby rowers are the only ones representing the North of England after being invited to take part.
Veteran rower Barry Brown was invited to put forward a crew by the organiser when he was at a meeting at the British Rowing HQ in Hammersmith.
They have had to build their own vessel which has been pioneered by designers in the US.
And, at 32 feet by four feet ten inches, it will be the longest rowing boat in the world.
It is made from wood and a method called stitch and glue, so there are no nails used in the manufacturing process.
After getting the wood cut by a specialist firm based in the Lake District, the rowers have been building the rowing boat themselves in a workshop space that has been loaned to them by Coates Marine.
Barry told the Gazette: “It is a sea boat and suited to the channel rather than the type of boat we use in Whitby.
“We approached a firm in Kendal to cut the wood but because there have been no plans for another boat like this previously they went to a company in America with a design spec based on the Cornish Pilot.
“Our boat is the only one of its type ever done with this method of construction.”
The crew are no stranger to sailing out of Whitby waters as they regularly row the William Riley at events such as the Queen’s Jubilee pageant, but the different nature of this challenge was what appealed.
Barry added: “This particular challenge appealed because it was offered to us by the organiser as a personal invite and they knew more about us and Whitby’s rowing history than we knew about them.
“We have been building the boat ourselves and the biggest challenge will be the weather - as it always is when rowing is concerned - and transporting it to Kent.
“We are really looking forward to it and will be training in and out of Whitby.”
The crew have had to cover the cost of the wood themselves but are looking for sponsorship to help out with the finances.
Barry added: “We will be looking, when it is finished, for a main sponsor.
“We want to keep it as local as we can or at least in Yorkshire as it is the only one from the area taking part.”
The crew consists of brothers Barry, Derek and Alan Brown, Dave Pearson, Darren Archibald and Paul Hewison.