The Bembridge Harbour Family Fun Weekend took place over 18 – 20 August.
Despite initial windy and at times wet conditions, Bembridge Harbour was stacked full of visiting boats for this year’s Family Fun Weekend.
A Paper Boat Building Workshop on Friday afternoon resulted in 25 marine masterpieces, ready for Saturday’s Great Bembridge Paper Boat Race at Brading Haven Yacht Club. With entries from Club members, a total of 42 boats took to the water over 3 races. Thankfully it stayed dry, but the wind direction and incoming tide made for challenging conditions, with many boats struggling to make any headway towards the finishing line. None of that really mattered; the fun and excitement was all there and prizes were presented to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each race.
The beach games are a firm favourite, including egg and spoon, 3-legged, sack and running races in age groups from under 5s to adults, finishing with a very noisy and wet Family Bucket Challenge! With 13 fabulous entries in the Sandcastle Building Competition, and 7 for the Sand Sculptures, the judges had an almost impossible task on their hands, but managed in the end, with ‘Windsor Castle’ winning the architectural prize, and a mermaid the sculpting.
Bembridge RNLI Lifeboat was in the Harbour offering tours, and the RYA sea safety team were on hand offering free lifejacket checks and advice, both much appreciated by all.
Saturday night’s Harbour Party included a disco and live music from All Washed Up, with a Fancy Dress Competition in the event theme of ‘On or In the Water’ featuring Neptune, several pirates, a shark, a lobster, crabs and a jellyfish which lit up!
The event culminated in Sunday’s Crabbing Competition with “crab catchers” aged from 1 upwards. All crabs, once counted, were carefully returned to the water – the largest crab measuring 7.5cm (not including the legs)!
A wonderful weekend was had by all, with over £2,000 raised for the Harbour’s nominated charity, the Sophie Rolf Trust, KissyPuppy, which together with funds raised at June’s Rock the Boat event brings the total this year to over £5,300 for this wonderful Island charity.