Townies vs. Baymen in St. John's punt race
The Narrows group hopes race will raise awareness of Fort Amherst and Outer Battery
A group that wants to protect and restore properties on both sides of the harbour entrance to St. John’s is organizing a boat race that it hopes will draw attention to its cause.
The Narrows Group is calling the event The First Annual Grand Punt Race.
Members hope the event will help them raise awareness for Fort Amherst and the Outer Battery on the other side of the Narrows from Signal Hill.
"Fort Amherst should hold its own with the likes of Signal Hill and Cabot Tower, Cape Spear and Quidi Vidi and Petty Harbour," says group member and federal MP Ryan Cleary.
The group wants damaged and deteriorating stages in the area and the crumbling bunkers at Fort Amherst repaired and maintained.
Cleary says Saturday’s race will pit "Townies vs. Baymen."
"The Baymen" are coming from Fogo Island with their punts. As of Monday, "the Townies" hadn’t been recruited yet.
"Townie pride is on the line and we need our best rowers to step forward," said Cleary.
Musician Mark Hiscock is the co-chair of The Narrows Group. He's originally from Fort Amherst.
"I know my grandparents used to talk about rowing around St. John's harbour. They rowed from Fort Amherst to get their supplies and then rowed back," he said.
The race is set to start at the floating dock at Harbourside Park. Rowers will then head west to the top of the harbour, turn back east towards Prosser's Rock, and finally row across the Narrows to Harbourside Park.
Organizers estimate the course will take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
Weather permitting, the starter's gun is expected fire at 10 a.m. on Aug. 10.