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Monday, 7 July 2008

Weymouth Sea Festival

Rain failed to dampen the start of the inaugural Spirit of the Sea maritime festival in Weymouth and Portland.

Festival-goers braved downpours on Saturday as the nautical-themed event got under way with a gig-rowing regatta, bands on the beach and yacht races.

The weather hit some events. Tall ship sailing, scheduled from Saturday until Tuesday, was cancelled and an open-air church service due to be held on the beach was moved inside but live music went ahead and will continue tonight.

The Universal Big Gig, Weymouth's Rowing Regatta, went ahead with a slightly altered course because of winds.

Rowing clubs from Cattewater, Swanage, Boscastle and Dartmouth were among the competitors who set up camp in the Nothe Gardens.

Weymouth Rowing Club set up its new marquee in the gardens and was able to offer shelter and food.

The rowing began on Saturday morning, but the wind was coming in a 26-knot south-westerly with gusts on top of that.

Organisers abandoned a long 2.2-mile race in favour of a triangular course in the Newton's Cove area.

Sally Harris, for Weymouth Rowing Club, said: "Most of the other waterborne events during Spirit of the Sea were cancelled.

"This was not to be the fate of the rowers. The gig crews battled the choppy waters, loving every minute of the gruelling races."

Caradon won the women's competition, the South Dorset Trophy, and the men's team won the Universal Engineering Trophy.

An exhibition of more than 100 model warships made from matchsticks and matchboxes is also on display at the Nothe Fort as part of the festival.

The festival continues until Sunday, July 13. Organisers hope it will become a major fixture in the borough's calendar of events, leading up to and going beyond the 2012 Olympics.

EVENTS

DAILY

Beach Live 2008 - free nine-day festival of live music and performance - Weymouth beach (Sat and Sun 2pm-10pm, Mon-Fri 6pm-l0pm). The Matchstick Fleet - A display of more than 200 model warships, The Nothe Fort (10.30am-4.30pm). All the Fun of the Seaside exhibition - Weymouth Museum (10am-4.30pm). Pebbles, Boats and the Sea - All day events - Chesil Beach Centre (I0am-5pm). Holy Stones and Billy Winters - Exhibition about local traditional fishing boats - Chesil Beach Centre (10am-5pm). Glass-bottom boat tours of Fleet Lagoon and Portland Harbour - Crab House Cafe slipway (9.30am, 10.45am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm, & 4pm). Guided minibus tours of Portland's nature and history (11am and 2pm). Charity awareness and promotional stalls - Weymouth Esplanade (all day).

TODAY, JULY 7

Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Beach Live featuring folk rock - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm).

TUESDAY, JULY 8

Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Dorset Special Schools Beach Festival - Weymouth Pavilion (10.30am-2pm). Beach volleyball - Weymouth Beach (From 6pm). Weymouth Town Heritage Walk/Harbour Secrets - Weymouth Pavilion (6.30pm). Beach Live featuring classic rock - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9

Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Live underwater video broadcasts from beneath Portland Harbour - Chesil Beach Centre (11am, 12pm, 2pm & 3pm). Beach tag rugby - Weymouth Beach (from 6pm) Beach Live featuring indie, folk and classic pop - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm).MONDAY, JULY 7 Moth World Sailing Championships - Sailing Academy (all day). J24 National Sailing Championships - Weymouth Harbour (all day). Maritime Modelling Festival school workshops - Weymouth Pavilion (all day). Shipwreck and Rescue photographic exhibition - Mulberry Gallery and all libraries (all day). Beach Live featuring folk rock - Weymouth Beach (6pm-10pm).

More details at dorsetecho.co.uk or spiritofthesea.org.uk

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