Between September 3-5 over 15 craft will assemble for the first ever rally of steam-powered craft to be held on the River Medina in Cowes: traditionally the home of sail.

Between September 3-5 over 15 craft will assemble for the first ever rally of steam-powered craft to be held on the River Medina in Cowes: traditionally the home of sail.
Organised by the Steam Boat Association of Great Britain, the fleet will be headed by the Royal Naval Museum’s magnificent Steam Pinnace 199. She will cross from Beaulieu escorted by the 36ft (10.9m) steam launch Kariat that was built in Cowes in 1897 and is still powered by her original compound engine.
Many smaller craft taking part were originally designed for use on inland and sheltered waters and hence will be unsuitable to make to Solent crossing on their own bottoms. However Red Funnel Ferries, who have generously agreed to support the event, will carry these smaller boats together with their crews to the island free of charge. Dean and Reddyhoff, owners of East Cowes Marina, will also provide berths for the rally, which, with current interest, could become a regular feature of the Cowes scene.
The three-day programme will see the Steam Boat Association of Great Britain commemorating the occasion when they present their burgee to the Cowes based Island Sailing Club as an addition to their unique collection of club flags and burgees from around the world.
The fleet will raise steam early on the morning of September 4 to cruise line astern past Cowes Parade before heading upstream to Newport at the top of the River Medina. Here participants will berth alongside the visitor’s pontoons to allow interested members of the public to inspect these rare craft and their machinery at close quarters.
Owners and crews will finally be honoured on the eve of departure at a grand dinner held on the Platform of the Royal Yacht Squadron.
Further information of the rally and details of the programme can be obtained from event organiser John Power, tel 01983 299555 (powerjohn@wight365.net).