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Man builds Viking longboat from 15 million lolly sticks

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Captain Bob and helpersIn a truly laudable piece of silliness, a former stuntman from Jacksonville, Florida, yesterday launched a 15m replica Viking longship constructed entirely from 15 million ice cream sticks.

"It's a dream come true. It's truly worth all the hard work," a delighted Rob McDonald told Reuters after the maiden voyage in Amsterdam which saw 20 intrepid seafarers take tentatively to the water.

It took McDonald and two mates a couple of years to knock together the vessel, which now faces an Atlantic crossing in aid of Rob's Seaheart Foundation - founded by the ice cream mariner to bring fun to hospitalised kids worldwide.

As the foundation's blurb explains:

When 'Captain Rob' was a little boy he spent a substantial part of his childhood in hospital after a gas explosion at his home. Doctors told 'Captain Rob' that he would never be able to use his arm again but his determination to overcome this difficult challenge has inspired him to go on and achieve all sorts of incredible records to draw attention to good causes.

Good show, Capt'n, and the best of British luck with your transatlantic attempt. ®

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