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Britain Afloat

Series 1

The Sailing Boat

Duration: 30 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One North WestLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Scotland

Mary-Ann Ochota discovers how sailing on the Mersey, which began with fishermen racing each other for fun, developed into a way of life for many people in the region. Mary-Ann hears that whilst the sport now prides itself on being accessible to all, women were frequently banned from clubhouses, well into the 20th century. Many of the clubs in the region also designed their own boats, beautiful wooden craft with names like The Seabird and The Falcon - all specifically made for the Mersey waters. It led to a form of racing in which identical boats were pitted against each other. Winning was a question of skill not a question of who could afford the fastest boat. Today with leisure now a vital part of the regeneration of the former industrial area around Liverpool, sailing for pleasure is more popular than ever, with numerous regattas held on the Mersey. Mary-Ann takes part to experience sailing in these picture postcard boats. Show less

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