DISTINGUISHED Scarborough playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn is riding on the crest of a wave after a boat was named in his honour.
Members of Scarborough Rowing Club are set to tackle the rough North Sea waters armed with their new Ayckbourn vessel.
Sir Alan, who was previously artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, sprayed the boat with champagne to rapturous applause during a naming ceremony.
The new moniker adorns the four-oared clinker boat in gold and black and features the traditional comedy and tragic faces associated with drama.
Sir Alan joins esteemed company in being bestowed the honour, with master mariner Sidney Smith and lifeboat man William Sheader also remembered on vessels.
Cath McIntyre, member secretary of Scarborough Rowing Club, said it was delighted to name a boat after Sir Alan, who had strong links with the group.
She said: “We chose him for the naming because of his affinity with Scarborough.
“He has lived here on and off since 1959 and only a few yards from the club.
“He is cherished by the Scarborough people and felt it an honour to name the boat after him.
“Sir Alan first came down to the club in 1992 when he directed One Over The Eight which was a show about rowing.
“He came down to the club with some of the cast members and had a look around and got a feel for the boats and the atmosphere.”
Mrs McIntyre said the 26-foot long boat was built by Goathland-based Dave Winspear and was set to be used in coastal races against old foes from Whitby and at London’s Great River Race.
She said Sir Alan’s choice was unanimous among members and had been well received by the famous director.
She added: “He was absolutely thrilled at being chosen and thought it was a wonderful gesture. He stayed to watch some of the members take a boat out and thoroughly enjoyed the day.”