Huge crowds attend Viking Longboat World Championships

Viking longboat races More than 700 people took part in the races

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Hundreds of people attended the 49th Viking Longboat World Championship in the Isle of Man at the weekend.

Farghers Lift Men completed the 500m time trial in 2 minutes 27.48 seconds to be crowned World Champions ahead of 72 other teams.

Peel Viking Longboats chairman Nigel Rawlinson said: "The weather gods were smiling on us and it was a fantastic spectacle to watch in the sunshine."

Some 730 people took part in the Peel races in teams of 10.

Eastern Young Farmers won the ladies title in 3 minutes 12.60 seconds and Raven Raiders won the mixed race in 2 minutes 38.55 seconds.

'50th anniversary'

Every crew member is required to row using an 11ft (3.3m) oar for the duration of the race.

Mr Rawlinson added: "We have had so many teams register this year that we've had a waiting list.

"It's the 50th anniversary of the races next year so we have to make it even better."

Last year's times were used to issue a handicap system for this year's races.

Every team has completed at least two practice runs in preparation for the event, which was first held in 1963.

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