On Wednesday 30th May Alicat Workboats held a naming ceremony for the third London Array Crew transfer vessel.
A competition was run to name the vessel and this was won by an eight-year-old Thanet schoolgirl , as part of her prize she won a VIP family break and £500 for her school.
Cerys Jones, who attends St Peter in Thanet CoE Junior School, chose the name ‘Ellida Array’ for the 17m aluminium catamaran, or Alicat, which is due to enter service in early June. The vessel will operate from Ramsgate alongside two other similar vessels – the Marian Array and the Smeaton Array.
Her prize included an overnight trip for herself, her parents and five-year-old sister Lilia and she took part in the formal naming of the boat in Great Yarmouth where it was built. The Mayor, director of Alicat – Nigel Darling and a pupil from neighbouring Greenacre School was also present.
All three boats will be operated by wind farm specialist Gardline, which teamed up with London Array to offer local youngsters the chance to name the third and final vessel. The winning name was chosen by a panel from London Array and Gardline, with final approval given by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Cerys said she chose the name Ellida Array because the Vikings landed in Thanet, and, in Viking folklore Ellida is the name of the boat given to the first Viking. Ellida is also the name of a moth, which takes advantage of the wind when flying.
After their stay at the Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth, Cerys and her family were given a tour of the Alicat shipyard before taking part in the naming and blessing ceremony. This included presentations and speeches. She then went onboard onboard the new workboat for a trip around the coastline before returning back to the quay for lunch. Following this, Cerys and her family and a pupil from Greenacre school were taken to Joyland, a local fun park for some rides and an ice cream.
Michael Martins, Business Manager at Gardline, said: “We were delighted to welcome Cerys and her family to take part in the naming of the Ellida Array and to see the yard where this state-of-the-art vessel was built. It was a great day and she thoroughly deserved her prize.”
The Ellida Array will work 24 hours a day for London Array on a three year contract.
When complete, London Array will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world. Work on Phase One is underway and includes installing 175 turbines and two offshore substations.