Sun 8th March 2015 at Portishead Quays Marina saw a very different kind of boat race! We challenged friends, family and students to construct a boat no larger than 60cm long and 50 cm wide from the contents of their recycling bins to race over a straight course in the marina using only the power of the wind! Truly the greenest regatta ever and we raised a WHOPPING £65 for the RNLI!
We had a dozen or so entrants representing England, Australia, New Zealand and Wales and it’s true to say that an impressive amount of building and decorating had gone into all the entrants!
Our youngest entrant was Carter Benjamin at just 8 months old (obviously with a little help from big brother Taylor aged 6) who live in Christchurch New Zealand – they built “The Little Kiwi” over in NZ and sent strict instructions to their Auntie and Uncle here in Portishead to recreate their fantastic boat. Here’s The little Kiwi in it’s first sea trail in the kitchen sink testing it’s seaworthiness in NZ.
Family Fox had 2 entries. The first from young Paige “Foxy Loxy” which certainly gets the award for the smiliest boat! And the second from young Logan for “Five a Day Fast Boat” – a real speed demon and the only boat that was almost planing on the water creating it’s own wake!
As with all good sailing races we needed a safety boat and 4 (nearly 5!) year old Alfie designed a brilliant entry painted in the RNLI colours with a lego crew named “Merlin” after his favourite Compass Sea School RIB.
Our Eldest junior entrant (well teenage really – in fact more like our youngest adult!) representing WALES was Josh Hudd, flying the flag for the 1st Bulwark Scouts, Chepstow with “HMS Torpedo Scout” and if you look closely you’ll just see the Skipper Ned Flanders in the Crowsnest!
We were even privileged to be joined by the little guys from the Lifeboat Crew who inspected the boats and posed for some pictures with our junior entrants – they enjoyed the day so much they even wrote their own very entertaining blog about it – click here for more
The “NOT SO Juniors”!
Even the Big Kids joined in the fun constructing some fabulous boats from a variety of materials with “Fair Dinkum” taking the prize for the Best Dressed Boat voted for by Portishead Quays Marina’s very own Danielle. Other challengers included “HMS Bithday Card”, “Strongbow-t Mk1” and “Great Scotts”
With a fairly steady breeze in the Marina the boats were transported in our School RIBs to the start line -“somewhere over there!” and then corralled into a gaggle before the hooter was sounded and the fleet was released! There was the usual jockying for position in the early stages with some boats finding better wind than others – some got a little stuck and needed to be rescued by our safety boat but were soon back in the race! Flukey winds near to the finish line caught a few boats as they got stuck in a wind eddy by the wall – the crowd were egging them on from the safety of the marina walls with some very puzzled passer by who weren’t quite sure what to make of the whole race!
The winners and Prizes!
There was a clear winner in HMS Birthday Card which sailed uncontested over the line followed by Strongbow-t and in third place Fair Dinkum. All racers received a recycled medal for taking part with some interesting recycled prizes on offer such as a box of last years Christmas crackers, an unwanted Jack Daniels Hip flask with our First Prize of £20 vouchers very kindly donated by our Local Pub Hall & Woodhouse . For the younger racers a couple of (this years!) Easter eggs and some RNLI wristbands.
A huge thank you to all of our participants who had put so much effort into their boats we had a fabulous day out for all ages – and we may even do it again next year – watch this space…… you can see some of our pictures below or see our website gallery for more – just click here and select “Recyclable Regatta!”