Electric riverboat challenge this weekend will promote boating on the River Great Ouse

Electric river boat challenge takes place over the bank holiday weekend.

Electric river boat challenge takes place over the bank holiday weekend. - Credit: Archant

Can the classic electric riverboat Annie make it from Bedford to Denver Sluice on the River Great Ouse on one charge and solar power?

Marina owner Les Fidler will find out over the bank holiday weekend when he embarks on a challenge, which will also raise money for several charities in St Ives.

Les, who owns the West View Marina in Earith, will set out from Bedford on Friday, August 29, arriving in Buckden that evening. During the following day he will make his way up river through Huntingdon and Houghton. When he emerges from Hemingford Lock he will be met by a flotilla of supporters, including St Ives mayor Ian Jackson.

“This personal endeavour will not only prove a point, it will also promote boating on the River Great Ouse by electric, hybrid and solar energy on ecological and economic grounds,” said Cllr Jackson.

Electrically powered boats are the future, like electric cars, in a world running out of fossil fuels. And to cruise silently along the river is a pure joy.”

A civic procession will escort Annie to The Quay in the Old Riverport in St Ives where Les will be officially welcomed to the town.

The following day, Annie will depart St Ives and travel on downstream to Pope’s corner, and finally reach Denver Sluice – a total distance covered of more than 70 miles.

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INFO: All donations received will be passed to the Mayor of St Ives Charity Fund. Contact the town hall on 01480 388929. The mayor’s charities are The Dementia Café, and the Memory Lane Singalong Café and the 2nd St Ives Sea Scouts.