Monday, July 14, 2008

Edible boat race

Preparations are under way for what is believed to be the UK's first edible boat race later this month. The event will be held at Eyemouth beach in the Scottish Borders with the winning boat being the one which manages to float the longest.

The competition is open to all ages but all the vessels must be made entirely out of edible materials.

The event is backed by Eyemouth Herring Queen Committee and the St Abb's and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve. The seafaring challenge takes place on 23 July.

Liza Cole, National Trust for Scotland ranger for the marine reserve, explained how the surprising idea had come about. She was approached by the organisers of Eyemouth's annual celebration - the Herring Queen Festival - to discuss the possibility of a paper boat release.

Ms Cole said: "I was really pleased that the committee had thought laterally rather than just going for a balloon release, as these result in burst balloons littering our beaches and choking marine wildlife.

"However, I had reservations as paper only biodegrades in seawater very slowly, and I had visions of incoming tides of papier-mache. So, it was my turn to think laterally, and that's when I came up with the idea of an edible boat race."

She said she believed the event was the first of its type.

"I have put the word out with all my contacts around the country and as far as I am aware there has never been a boat race of this kind before," she said. "So we will be making history as well as having a bit of ecologically-friendly fun."

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