Teenager takes Matlock Bath Illuminations boat prize

Isabel Fox-Wood took her second top prize in just her fourth competition alongside Richard Wood.

A Matlock Bath teenager has taken her second title in the hotly competitive boat design competition for the town’s annual Illuminations festival.

Isabel Fox-Wood, 17, scooped the coveted Arkwright and Centenary cups for the second year in a row with her creation based on a Lego car and driver.

In a break with tradition, this year’s award was decided by an online public vote, and Isabel’s boat, co-designed by Richard Wood, polled almost one quarter of the 562 votes cast.

Geoff Stevens, who is compering the boat parade for a 50th time in 2017, said: “I have to say that this year’s parade is perhaps the best ever. It’s particularly good to see the young boat builders coming through to back up those that have been on the river almost as long as I’ve been here.

“The boats are now so different to what they were back when I was taking part in the parade. The technology and work that goes into them is incredible and every year they amaze even me.”

Isabel and Richard were presented with the awards and a cheque for £400 as part of the parade on Sunday, September 17.

Members of the Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders Association

They will also be given the honour of leading the boats down the river every Saturday and Sunday until October 28.

Second prize went to Christine Dence, Richard Wood and Pete Hartshorn with their pirate ship entry the White Pearl winning the Plumtree Cup and £380.

In third place was a Delorean Time Machine built by David Gregory, a veteran of 47 parades, awarded the Sheffield Wire Rope Cup and £360.

All Aboard the Ninky Nonk’, by Paul Henshall, took fourth place, the Dave Sanderson Trophy and £340.

Geoff presented compere’s prizes to Ashbourne’s Matthew Hall, and F35B Lightning 2 by first-time entrant Harry Davidson.

All other boats received £320, including the Minions-themed entry by Michael Hall, Mario and Luigi by David and Rory Harrison, and Moana’s Adventure Canoe by Ian Page.

To book tickets for your visit to the Illuminations, see www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/Illuminations.

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