Bembridge Harbour Family Fun Weekend 2015

Bembridge Harbour Family Fun Weekend 2015

31st July to 2nd August - in support of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance 


A packed weekend of events was blessed with glorious weather for the 3rd annual Family Fun Weekend, with 286 visiting boats welcomed into the Harbour over the weekend including a record 199 boats on Saturday. 

On Friday evening visitors at the Duver were entertained by local band Last Orders, playing their  traditional brand of Irish music, with delicious Paella and Tagine, freshly cooked by Angel in the Kitchen to enjoy whilst watching a wonderful sunset over the Harbour.  Throughout the weekend Dr Beans provided freshly ground coffee and the Ralvins Street Food truck dished up truly scrumptious breakfast rolls and lunchtime Pulled Pork and Vegi burgers.

Saturday morning's CRABBING COMPETITION at the Duver saw 69 “crab catchers” - another record - ranging in age from a 1 year old to a Grandad, and everything in between!  Prizes, kindly donated by Warburtons Co-op Welcome and BHA, were awarded for different age categories, the largest crab, the greatest number caught (42!) and the youngest competitor - the Harbour crabs have never been so well fed!!

TACKT-ISLE ADVENTURES ran free Taster “Splash” Sessions on paddleboards and kayaks, with instructors and safety boats to hand, with those who wanted to keep their feet dry having a go on Segways. Fun events and races took place in the afternoon. Voluntary donations from participants raised over £230 for the Air Ambulance - thanks so much Ben and Team - fantastic!

Brading Haven Yacht Club’s fleet of 16 colourfully decorated Scows sailed up the Harbour in memory of EVE WATSON, with a Trophy in Eve’s name being awarded to some yellow honey bees!  The BEMBRIDGE VILLAGE REGATTA, run by Bembridge Sailing Club followed - 23 keelboats and 12 dinghies enjoyed excellent racing outside the Harbour entrance in a good breeze - well done to all competitors.

The BEMBRIDGE RNLI LIFEBOAT were alongside at the Duver for an Open Day - allowing visitors to have a good look round this fascinating state of the art vessel.  The RNLI COASTAL SAFETY Officer ran lifejacket and buoyancy aids checks and HM COASTGUARD were offering advice and information.   

Activities on Saturday afternoon moved to Bembridge Point Beach - BEMBRIDGE LITTLE THEATRE CLUB performed their latest Puppet Show and there were egg and spoon, running and sack races with prizes for all kindly donated by Tollgate Café.  Entries into the SANDCASTLE and SAND SCULPTURE COMPETITIONS were amazing, and proved extremely difficult to judge - in the end everyone received a small prize, donated by Tollgate Café, with the main prizes of Family Passes to Seaview Wildlife Park being awarded to a Sand Unicorn and a Sand and Stone Castle.

Everyone entered into the spirit of the Best Dressed Overall and Best Decorated Competitions - turning the Harbour, and especially the Duver pontoon, into a brightly coloured sea of flags, balloons and decorations of all sorts.   The boat BEST DRESSED OVERALL winning a bottle of Wight Vodka, donated by 50o North, was Cygnus, owned by Paul Millard, and BEST DECORATED BOAT, with “Champagne Party” as the theme, was Pickled Herring, owned by Mark Pratt - appropriately winning a bottle of Joseph Perrier Champagne donated by Eurovines.  Cadets and adults at Brading Haven Yacht Club decorated various dinghies ashore and won prizes for NOAH’S ARK and HOLIDAY PICNIC - well done to all!

Saturday was rounded off with the annual DANCE ON THE DUVER, raising money for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and RNLI.  Fantastic live music from Undercover and That's Life  was thoroughly enjoyed by a sell out crowd, with the evening finishing with a flourish with a spectacular FIREWORKS DISPLAY sponsored by the Harbour Authority.  

Sunday was hosted by Brading Haven Yacht Club, with the Raffle Draw for the Air Ambulance - Star Prize, 2 adult tickets to Bestival generously donated by Josie and Rob Da Bank.  We are so grateful for this and all the other wonderful raffle prizes donated which raised upwards of £750 in tickets sales.  A list of prizes and winners will be posted on the Harbour website shortly. 

The 3rd GREAT BEMBRIDGE PAPER BOAT RACE, organised and run by Brading Haven Yacht Club, and in support of the Lucie Blackman Trust, was exciting, tense and dramatic!  The Under 15s were split into 2 age related races - Charlotte Salmon winning the first race and Lucas Richards, who was celebrating his 9th birthday, winning the second.  The adults followed with Derek Underwood victorious.  A lively breeze meant some boats took off at speed but in the wrong direction and there were several capsizes -most however did eventually reach the finishing line with just a few needing to be redirected or rescued by BHYC's valiant man in a rowing boat, Robin Lobb. 

It was tremendous fun with a great crowd of spectators cheering and urging the boats on, and with much celebration when they finally reached their goal. Prizes, donated by Warburtons Co-op Welcome and BHA, were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each race with an extra one for the Best Built Boat. Over a BBQ lunch laid on by the Club, and while this year's models were still drip drying, design modifications and building plans were already being discussed for next year ....

The total amount raised over the weekend for the HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT AIR AMBULANCE was over £1,900 - as well as fundraising already mentioned, money has been raised through donations from visiting boats, car park takings at Bembridge Point Beach, donations from food outlets here over the weekend, and even Face Painting on the beach...  Thank you so much to all those who supported this fantastic and vital charity.