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Local young man rows in prestigious RNLI Henley Royal Regatta rowpast

Connor with his Mum Sian arriving at the Henley Royal Regatta

ON SUNDAY 7th July rowers and spectators gathered at the famous Henley Royal Regatta on the River Thames in Oxfordshire and at 12.30pm RNLI volunteers from all five of the RNLI represented countries took part in a rowpast in an historic lifeboat to celebrate the charity’s 200th anniversary.

Connor Franklyn,19, from Mydroilyn, and studying mechanics at Coleg Ceredigion, volunteered to represent Wales and New Quay Lifeboat Station as he had previous experience of rowing.

Connor is also New Quay RNLI’s youngest crew member and an avid RNLI supporter since he was a young child growing up in the south Wales valleys. He said, “It was a great honour to represent the RNLI in Wales and New Quay Lifeboat Station. It was an amazing experience taking part in the rowpast and rowing the historic lifeboat. I really enjoyed it.”

Joining him were other crew members from Teddington and Hunstanton in England, from Galway in Ireland, Larne in Northern Ireland and Kyle of Lochalsh, in Scotland who all rowed the William Riley along a section of the prestigious Henley course to the finish line with volunteers from the Whitby Historic Lifeboat Trust that owns and maintains the William Riley.

The former Whitby Lifeboat, rarely seen outside its home in Whitby, was built in 1909 in London and famously took part in one of the most famous RNLI rescues, the Rohilla, in 1914. In service until 1931 and then discovered derelict in 2005 in Devon, it was subsequently restored by the Whitby Historic Lifeboat Trust.

Connor continued, “This was the first RNLI rowpast at the Henley Royal Regatta, made even more special on the charity’s 200th anniversary. It was a great celebration.”

Henley Royal Regatta is one of the most prestigious regattas in the world and the highlight of the summer rowing calendar and as well as the social season in the UK. Visited by more than 300,000 people each year, Henley Royal Regatta boasts over 300 races across six days of elite sporting competition.

Supporting Connor was his Mum, Sian who added, “I’m feeling very proud and grateful to the RNLI for giving Connor this opportunity. It was a fantastic day.”

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