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Deptford Ahoy Centre clipper triumphs in Great River Race
WAVES of celebration have engulfed a Deptford sailing centre after its first home-built clipper romped home in a top competition.
Rowed by the Ahoy Buoys team, the cutter came around the final bend of the annual 21 mile Great River Race in Ham to finish a full four minutes quicker than the second placed boat.
It was the culmination of three years of hard work for Clive Ongley, Ahoy's founder, who was anxiously waiting at the finish.
The Ahoy Cutter, coxed by Becky Witting and judged best in class was the first boat to be built as part of its new apprenticeship in boat-building, which teaches joinery skills to young people aged 16 to 24.
Mr Ongley said afterwards: "This was the dream, to build the lightest Cutter on the river and win best in class at the Great River Race. What a fantastic result for everyone at AHOY.
"For me waiting at the finish line was as nerve-wracking as waiting for the birth of my first child.
"The Ahoy Buoys made us all very proud and showed what can be accomplished when you give your heart and soul to something. Also it's a wonderful testament to what a team can achieve when everyone works together."
For information about the Borthwick Street centre, visit ahoy.org.uk
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