Legendary skiff restored to former glory
A 100-year-old boat which once attracted 10,000 spectators in a Co Antrim regatta back in the 19th century has been unearthed, restored and placed on public view.
The Arrow, a 25 feet long skiff, has been resurrected from storage, providing a priceless window to its former glory days when it boasted legendary status, conquering all-comers from Larne to Inishowen at a time of great popularity of river boat racing.
The origin of the Arrow is unknown, though some say it hailed from Donegal but according to one account from its past, thousands of spectators gathered on the Ramore head to watch its victory in a Portrush regatta of 1870. There has even been a suggestion that the Arrow could be the lead boat of Belfast's first ever boat club, the Northern Rowing Club, which formed in 1842.
The Arrow is thought to be one of only three pedigree racing craft from the era still in existance and following its careful restoration, it is now on show at the National Trust’s Inishfree Farm premises.