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Acclaimed boat builder attends boat show

23 April 2012

Will Stirling will be arriving by a somewhat unusual method – by sailing across the Channel in his own 14 foot traditional wooden clinker dinghy.

If the weather and sea conditions are suitable, Will and his crew mate Dave are planning to sail across from Salcombe in Devon to Jersey in the few days leading up to the show, at which he plans to give a series of public talks on his maritime adventures and the art of traditional boat building. Depending upon the wind and tidal conditions the journey is expected to take between 24 – 28 hours and should the wind drop away the duo will still make progress - by rowing instead. .

Will, who has been a boat builder for 11 years is a former student at Eton College and built his first big boat, a 37 foot Smuggling Lugger, while completing an MA in maritime history. His talks at Jersey Museum will take place at 3pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday during the boat show.

"With its significant maritime history, Jersey is an island I have often intended to visit’, says Will. ‘The Barclays Jersey Boat Show offers an ideal opportunity to have both the challenge of sailing across the Channel in a small open boat as well as promoting interest in traditional boat building as part of my series of talks when I eventually get here".

Both Will and organisers of this year’s Boat Show will be keeping a watchful eye on the weather conditions in the days leading up to the event in the hope that he can set sail and arrive on time. Should this not be possible alternative arrangements are in place to ensure that both Will and his sailing dinghy still manage to attend the show.

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