Gosport, the home of ocean racing, the birth place of camper & Nicholson's where Velsheda was built, at 10.00 the festival was officially opened by Alex Thomson, Gosport's very own round the World Solo Skipper. The weather started off grey and cool and windy, but then the sun came out and the crowds poured in. The sunny, blustery day didn't dampen the day, over 1100 newbies to boating, got out onto the water in one way or another on dinghies, RIBS, tall ships, harbour tours, canoes, paddleboards, 70ft racing yachts, Gypsy Moth IV, Wet wheels, wheel chair friendly motor boat charity run by Geoff Holt MBE, and historic boats.

I've never seen Gosport so busy, lots of families having a nice sunny day out seeing what the sea, water and boating is all about, eating really good ice creams and food supplied by the festival stalls.

Crewsaver came on board to sponsor the GoWaterSport activities enabling the event to offer over 1000 FREE on the water places.
The event itself run by volunteers of local marine businesses to introduce newbies to boating, various ways to get on the water, whether it be sailing dinghies or yachts, motor boats, paddle powered or on the inland waterways.

There was absolutely stacks to see and do at this one day festival in Gosport, including:

  • Solent & Harbour Sailing trips
  • Grinder Challenge with Clipper
  • Classical guitar
  • Punch and Judy
  • National Championship Model Yacht Racing
  • Music including - Ukulele, Mowtown, Rock and Roll, Modern, Musicals...
  • Gosport’s very own Norman Wisdom - Glen Ford
  • Professional dinghy racers, plus gravity-defying foiling Moths
  • Fishing lessons took place on the pier all day teaching you how to hook bait, cast off and the best places to fish in Gosport
  • Panto, local choirs, Brazilian Samba-Reggae style of the Big Noise Samba Band
  • Nautical Art, Photography, Craft Fair
  • Hip-Hop street dancers
  • Water sport simulators
  • Soprano Jennifer Parker-Lumis.
  • Gosport’s Youth Citizen, singer Lacey Love-Kent, great food and ice creams
  • Plus lots more...

The Gosport Marine Festival ended yesterday with a speech by Councillor John Beavis MBE, the inspirational festival chairman.

Gosport Marine Festival website

Your Festival comments

“The community spirit, the generosity of hundreds of talented volunteers’ time, our event partner’s resources, the inspiring leadership of our Chairman John Beavis MBE, plus our sponsors putting their faith in us to carry it off, has allowed us to offer over 1100 FREE water sessions. I am overwhelmed by what the team has achieved”

Abby Thomson, Festival Director

An excellent day, many thanks. David has not stopped talking about and is now in danger of boring both residents and staff in the Care Home where he lives. Could you please let me know the costs etc. for a 90 min spin plus wheelchair and passenger numbers per trip. As discussed, I will then get it in the MS Newsletters and get Branches to think about it as a day out.


Thank you for a very enjoyable day. It was a great day out

Kind Regards from Worthing

Can you thank Andy and the team on John Laing for a great afternoon


Dear Abby, I just wanted to email you to thank you all so much for an excellently organised day at which we had so much fun. We didn't manage to get on the tall ship due to ages of children, but the volunteers at check in managed to get my two children on the oppies instead. The spirit of the event, the patience of the check in team, and the brilliant sailing instruction made the day fun for us all and a great experience - enjoyed by all. I just wanted to email my thanks for all the hard work, and volunteer time that went into a brilliant day both on and off the water!

Yours with many thanks

Hi, I just wanted to write and congratulate everyone connected in the organising of today's event, from a spectator's point of view a real success and one I hope you can continue to promote in the years to come. Living on the coast I certainly believe we should be promoting all opportunities for our young people to get afloat and of course the associated safety messages. While my grandchildren are too young to take advantage of the get afloat activities other than the harbour ferry trip, I was impressed that there was a range of related activities for the U6s to take part in. I would also like to thank those people with the sailing simulator, kayaks and dinghy's ashore who were only to happy to allow young children to climb aboard. Well done (Bravo Zulu) to all involved

Thank you for a great day out

I have just come back from the festival and I just wanted to say that it was brilliant! My whole family enjoyed it. It was well organised, lots of activities available for everyone and the entertainment was great.

Well done to all involved in making it successful day and I sincerely hope that the same will happen again next year in the same place.

Thank you

Many thanks to you and everyone involved in today's festival, my sons and nephew enjoyed themselves and it was great to get the chance to go on board some of the boats in the marina!! I am grateful that the staff managed to transfer the older ones to another boat when the Discovery had engine problems! I could see that it must have been a logistical nightmare!! but well worth it for us, the public :-)

See you next time ;-)