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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Crowds sail in for boat festival
The Isabella Fortuna
The Isabella Fortuna took pride of place on the water at Portsoy
Organisers of the biggest festival of traditional boat building in Scotland have declared the event a success after attendance records were smashed by 40%.

About 20,000 people went to the weekend event in Portsoy, giving a significant boost to the local economy.

Crowds came to see more than 100 historic and modern boats and to enjoy live music and arts events.

Festival chairman Roger Goodyear said the boat festival had become a major tourist attraction.

"I'm very hopeful that we'll be able to show that we pulled in a lot of people from outside the region," he said.

"And hopefully, particularly with our Norwegian linking this year, we're starting to pull more people into Scotland from Scandinavia.

"We were able to calculate last year that the impact of the festival was getting on for 2m for the local economy.

"With this increase we can be pretty certain that the impact is going to be even greater."

Traditional techniques

The star attraction was Scotland's oldest fishing boat, the 116 Fifie herring drifter Isabella Fortuna.

The Royal Yachting Association ran courses and young people were given the opportunity to learn traditional sailing techniques.

Leanne Fisher, of the Royal Yachting Association, said sailors were doing exceptionally well in difficult weather conditions, with the wind "hitting them from all angles".

She added: "Normally the screams show they're enjoying this challenge."


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