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British artist sails pumpkin across the Solent

by Daily Mirror/Sail-World on 28 Oct 2013
Pumpkin boat and its skipper SW
People try some pretty quirky things in boats, but this must be some kind of world record for quirkiness. A vegetable artist has become the first person to sail a giant hollowed out pumpkin across the Solent from Stokes Bay in Hampshire in the south of England to the Wootton Creek Yacht Club on the Isle of Wight .

And the impressive Halloween-inspired feat went so well that he turned around and sailed right back again.

The expedition saw Dmitri Galitzine set out in a hollowed out 500kg pumpkin fitted with an outboard motor and a pair of oars. No, there was not a sail in sight.

And just one hour and 56 minutes later he arrived at his Yacht Club destination on the Isle of Wight.

Mr Galitzine decided to embark on the three-mile trip after hearing that pumpkins could float.

The outboard motor gave him one to two knots of speed and the 27-year-old from Hackney, London, was so happy that he returned in the vessel to Trafalgar Wharf marina in Portsmouth.

Speaking after the venture, Mr Galitzine said: 'It went really well, I took on quite a bit of water along the way which was a bit alarming but I made it.

'It was a little bit nerve-wracking, those ferries go quite quickly as it turns out. But I had great support from the guys at Trafalgar Wharf, they were the real experts.'

While at Sail-World we thought this was pretty unusual, apparently giant pumpkin sailing can be traced back to Nova Scotia in Canada. The International Pumpkin Boat Championships have also been held in southern Germany.

Jonny Boys, managing director of Trafalgar Wharf, said: 'If anyone else has got a giant vegetable, or even a giant piece of fruit, and who wants some help to get across the Solent, we'd love to hear from you.'

The contemporary artist will now be editing footage from the challenge for an artwork called 'The load of a man is his coracle'.
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