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£40,000 grant helps work to restore the last Flying 30

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 11, 2012

The ocean racer Huff of Arklow in her heyday. She is now being restored with the interior returned to its original, and sparse,  racing condition

The ocean racer Huff of Arklow in her heyday. She is now being restored with the interior returned to its original, and sparse, racing condition

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An historic sailing yacht which was at the cutting edge of design when she was built more than 60 years ago is being restored to her original condition.

The famous ocean racer Huff of Arklow is based at Mashfords boatyard in Cremyll, South East Cornwall, and is being restored with the help of a £40,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Designed by Uffa Fox, the yacht was built in 1951 and was at the forefront of yacht design at the time.

The last remaining of the so-called Flying 30, she was one of the first sailing vessels to be able to plane, or lift up out of the water.

Cremyll Keelboats, the trading name of the Eyemouth International Sailing Craft Association (EISCA), is running the project from its base on the River Tamar.

It includes a technical learning curve for two young boatbuilding apprentices under the professional support of the Falmouth Marine School.

Overall, the project is costing £80,000 and will see the 30ft yacht's interior restored to its original, and sparse, racing condition and the installation of a new engine.

Project managers Dominic and Barbara Bridgman, from the association, said: "We are thrilled that the Huff of Arklow project has been recognised for this grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"With HLF's support we feel confident that a great number of people will be able to enjoy Huff's unique features."

EISCA, an educational charity dedicated to the preservation of historic craft, is aiming to make its wide collection available to the public.

Throughout the project, which needs to be completed by the summer of 2014, the public will have direct access to a unique sailing yacht at every stage of the restoration process from the land-based renovation work to the practical use of the boat during sail training voyages.

Public open days will be held during the course of the work, as well as exhibitions and a lecture. In addition a website will be created to illustrate the vessel and the work of Uffa Fox.

The first exhibition was held last weekend in the English Gardens at nearby Mount Edgcumbe. It continues every Thursday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, until September 2.

Richard Bellamy, from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the South West, said: "The sea and sailing have an important place in the heritage of the South West, and so we were delighted to be able to support this exciting project, which will ensure that a unique vessel is restored to seaworthy condition and that the work of its pioneering designer can be understood and valued by a wider audience."

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