Weekend extravaganza by the sea draws south-coast crowds

Thousands of visitors flocked to the 2nd Poole Afloat annual watersports and boating event at the weekend to enjoy a free two-day extravaganza by the sea. The event showcased celebrity-style yachts, motor-cruisers and even a World War II gunboat, as well as marine equipment and watersports gear.

More than 500 people took to the water with ‘Try A Boat’ sessions on RIBs, yachts and dinghies. New to this year’s event was a junior boat handling skills competition which enabled youngsters to take control of a 16ft boat with a qualified instructor. There was also the chance to try power-kiting.

Family fun was flavour of the day, with nautical-themed face painting and traditional sea shanties. Crowds also had the opportunity to participate in the interactive RNLI ‘Get Your Kit On’ exercise, which required competitors to race against the clock and get dressed in the full RNLI crew kit in the quickest time possible. There was also the opportunity to watch dinghy boat building demonstrations provided by the Traditional Wooden Boat Section of Poole Yacht Club.

James Sydenham, Poole Afloat event organiser, said: ‘Poole’s biggest free boating and watersports event has, yet again, been a huge success.’