Crowds brave tropical downpours over the w/e

Free boating festival Poole Afloat was a huge success at the weekend, say the organisers, with thousands of visitors braving poor weather for a showcase of sportsboats and other craft.

Apart from the wind and kite boards, Try-A-Boat and Try-A-Dive features and face-painting for children, perhaps the star of the show was a World War II motor gunboat.

Also at the event were the RNLI’s Poole lifeboat, Royal Marines Landing and Offshore Raiding crafts and the HM Coastguard boat.

Poole Afloat also hosted a 24-hour liferaft challenge, in which four RNLI sea survival trainers took to the water in a liferaft which was moored off Poole Quay, returning 24 grim hours later.

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.

Event Organiser, James Sydenham, said: “Without doubt this was an outstanding event by every measure. This year thousands of people attended over the weekend and the weather didn’t deter people from scheduling a trip on one of the many boats that were part of the ‘Try A Boat’ feature. We would also like to thank all Poole Afloat exhibitors and supporters for their contribution to this year’s event.”

Poole Afloat was organised by the British Marine Federation Wessex and was supported by the Borough of Poole, the South West Regional Development Agency and Original 106 FM.