Aiming to inspire local families to connect with the sea, as well as learn more about what the Gosport Peninsula has to offer for work and play in the leisure marine sector, this free community event has something for everyone.
“Now in its fifth iteration, the festival is very popular, with nearly 5000 people attending in previous years,” says Barry Easton-Corke, Gosport Marine Festival chairman. “It is a great family event, especially for young people who can come along and enjoy themselves. If you don’t fancy going afloat, you can watch or enjoy the exhibitions and entertainment ashore.”
The activities confirmed include:
- Dinghy sailing, kayaking and rowing in Haslar Marina for 12+ year olds
- Windsurfing, paddleboarding and kayaking for 6 – 11 year olds at the Cockle Pond
- Short voyages for disabled people aboard the Wet Wheels and Spirit of Scott Bader accessible boats
- Children’s model yacht building
- Food and drink by Hampshire producers
- Live entertainment all day by local performers
- An Inspiration Zone, bringing together local marine companies offering careers advice to young people wanting to work in the marine industry
Safety is of top priority at the event with all waterborne activities supervised by experienced, qualified people, with all buoyancy aids and lifejackets provided.
Barry comments: “Living in an area surrounded by water, with 24 miles of coastline on three sides, it’s important that every youngster has the opportunity to enjoy the water while, at the same time, having knowledge of water safety.
“The festival gives everyone a chance to have fun on the water or try a new sport in a fun, friendly and safe environment.
“This event would not be possible without the support of our many volunteers who donate their time and the generosity of local charities, businesses and our sponsors.”
Organised by Portsmouth Harbour Marine in partnership with Gosport Borough Council, the day will centre on Haslar Marina, in Trinity Church and on the surrounding green, in the Millennium Timespace and, just around the corner, at the Cockle Pond.
There will be more than 600 free on water sessions available. Most activities will require pre-booking, but stand-by entrants to each activity will be taken on the day in the case of no-shows. The booking system will open in July on the Portsmouth Harbour Marine website: https://portsmouthharbourmarine.org.uk/events/gosport-marine-festival-2021/
The event is supported by boatfolk, the owners of Haslar Marina, Hampshire County Council, Wates Residential, MAA, British Marine, Andy Biggs Watersports, Lee-on-the-Solent and Stokes Bay Sailing Clubs, Gosport Sea Cadets, Gosport Scouts and Endeavour Quay.