WHITBY Friendship Rowing Club’s new racing boat, The Scoresby, was unveiled for the first time at the harbourside naming ceremony.
The Scoresby, the fourth built for the club by one of its members, Roger Wood, was launched in the lower harbour after the christening in front of the boathouse.
The naming was performed on the crowded slipway by the club’s oldest member, Margaret Appleton, who will be 99 in July. Mrs Appleton joined the club in 1930 when her late husband John was a rowing member.
Following the traditional champagne send off, The Scoresby was rowed in the harbour for the first time, joined by three sister craft built by Mr Wood over a period of nearly 20 years.
Chosen for the first crew was the club’s Whitby Regatta winning senior men, Adam Young stroke, Mark Davies, Darren Hall, Ian Hall and Kara Davidson cox.
Club captain John Eglon, introducing Friendship president Mike Brown, congratulated Mr Wood on a ‘fantastic job for the club’.
Calling on Mrs Appleton to name The Scoresby, Mr Brown paid tribute to her support to the club over the years and said it was another great day in Friendship’s history. He said the completion of four new boats was a great credit to Mr Wood.
Mr Brown expressed the club’s thanks to John Morley who loaned the building at the Stables Restaurant where the new boat was built.
A bouquet was presented to Mrs Appleton by the club’s social secretary Liz Hall.
The Scoresby, 27ft long with a 4ft beam, was built from mahogany, sitka spruce, oak and ash with brass and copper fastenings.
Starting in 2008, Mr Wood did most of the work at weekends assisted by Kenny Corner, a fellow rower in a veterans’ crew.
Mr Wood’s first boat, Pegasus, launched in 1993, was built in the clubhouse yard. The second, Eagle, built in Hawsker cow-byre by permission of Brian McNeil, followed in 1997.
The Cholmley, built at Parkol Marine, Church Street, by permission of Jim Morrison and John Oliver, was launched in 2005.
Mr Wood served his apprenticeship at Whitby Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Whitehall Shipyard, under John Locker and has been a Friendship member from the age of 13. Still rowing at the age of 65 he competed in the great River Race over 23 miles on the Thames in 2008 and 2010 when the crew took two second places in the Over 60s.
The other Friendship crews taking part in Saturday’s tribute were Pegasus, Kelly Probert, Millie Storr, Amy Clarkson, Morgan Russell and Louise Kelly cox; Eagle, Luke Clarkson, Ryan Lowther, James Kendrew, Ryan Sleightholme and Ben Betts cox; Cholmley, Nichole Stewart, April Snedden, Phoebe Ackers, Rosie Snedden and Simon Grant cox.
The Scoresbys, father and son, are famous for their role in the whaling industry in the 18th and 19th centuries and the 30ft Scoresby memorial mast was erected at Dock End in 1996.