Used for thousands of years, coracles are flat-bottomed boats made from woven wood covered in animal skins, or more often nowadays, canvas sewn on and waterproofed with tar or bitumen. They were once commonly used for fishing, ferrying and even for poaching.
These days the coracle is mainly used for leisure purposes, providing a fun and unusual way to enjoy the river. This summer, there will be an array of events taking place on our rivers, celebrating this traditional craft.
River Stour Coracle Regatta
This weekend, the River Stour will see coracle races, including the ‘Poacher’s Run’, as the 14th annual Coracle Regatta takes place at Bures Recreation Ground.
The event offers visitors the chance to have a go at handling one of these unusual craft. The regatta is family-friendly and free to attend. All proceeds will go towards the restoration and conservation of the River Stour Navigation.
More info: www.riverstourtrust.org
Ironbridge Coracle Regatta
This August bank holiday Monday, the River Severn in Shropshire will play host to the quirky Ironbridge Coracle Regatta, with races, demos, games and entertainment.
The event attracts coracle makers and paddlers from all over Britain to participate in an array of madcap races, such as the ‘Fussler Pots’ novelty race. As well as the boating action, there will be a duck race and stalls. This family-friendly event is free to attend (parking costs £2).
More info: www.facebook.com/IronbridgeCoracleTrust
Coracle World Championships
The Coracle World Championships 2019 will also take place on the River Severn, with this year’s event taking place at Pengwern Boat Club on Friday 13th September.
Teams of four will be competing in relay races to win the championships, all whilst wearing fancy dress. The aim of the event is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Last year the event raised £45,000.
More info: www.coracleworldchampionship.co.uk