Last weekend we got involved with hosting the Minehead Harbour Fest (link) – bringing #fatyaking™ to Minehead Harbour with taster sessions and Fatyak™ races – with £500 for the winner.
Minehead Harbour Fest is a new concept for 2015 born from the RNLI Raft Race – an event that has been running for 35 years along the coast from Blue Anchor to Minehead. This year the Raft Race was developed from a one-day to a two-day event on the Harbour full of live music, fun on the water, and street entertainment for the masses to enjoy. The festival was run in association with our own selves, and The Old Ship Aground pub, located right in the thick of the action. As well as providing a weekend of fun, the aim was to support money for the RNLI who obviously play an invaluable role in all that the weekend stands for.
This new concept was a spectacular success this year, with the finest local paddlers being pitched against each other in pursuit of a £500 prize – all in our very own fleet of fatyak™ kayaks down in the harbour.
Fatyaks™ in the Harbour
The amount of registrants increased exponentially on the day as the hype began to build, with Steven Dodd, Special Olympics Kayaking Twice Silver Medallist amongst the mix, and the atmosphere was fantastic – with some extremely exciting paddling and weather that could not have been better! The course consisted of a sprint out to a buoy just past the harbour area and back, made up of 3 heats, with safety monitoring kindly provided by the RNLI team.
Fatyak™ Racers taking off
Midpoint of the Sprint
Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd and Josh Searle of Fatyak
The main event of the Sunday was, of course, Minehead’s beloved raft race! The course was shortened this year due to safety concerns, running from Butlins as opposed to Blue Anchor but the event was just as legendary as ever with teams from as far as Hertfordshire entering the pro race.
As well as the professionals, we had teams consisting of the Minehead Barbarians rugby squad, Staff from our local Tesco supermarket, the “blind mice” from Minehead Specsavers and many more all bashing hulls in the fun race! Not to mention Fatyak™ Kayak’s very own raft which also competed in the pro race.
The Fatyak™ Team Raft tearing it up!
Teams competed for an array of prize categories including most original raft, the pub challenge, best fancy dress and the first local crew – full details of which will be included in the end of this post.
Williton YFC Raft
Watchet Sea Scouts – Winners of the Best Fancy Dress House Doctor’s Cup
While the Raft Race was underway, back at the harbour we were running Fatyak™ taster sessions – we were fully booked with keen fatyakers™ for the majority which was absolutely great to see, especially since so many had never been on the water before! We were helped hugely by Channel Adventure in keeping everybody safe and allowing a fun and informative session to take place.
Fatyak™ Taster Sessions with Channel Adventure
Tying together the burbling atmosphere of the weekend once the sun began to set was, of course, the fantastic live music acts organised by The Old Ship Aground including The Thatchers, Soulville Express, Pearl & The Diamond Geezers, Acoustic Roots, Little Betty, and The Salt Flat Rats – all with added music and entertainment by Tone FM DJ Drew Haddon. Commentary was provided to contextualise the action throughout the daytimes by Drew Haddon and Josh Searle of Tone FM, with a link from Phil Sanderson of the RNLI from the Safety Boat – keeping the masses updated regarding life on the water.
The staging and lighting provided by NBP Sound and Lighting Hire lit up the harbour once darkness fell, providing a brilliant backdrop for the selection of bands on offer throughout the weekend.
The Salt Flat Rats performing at the Old Ship Aground for RNLI Minehead Harbour Fest
And speaking of lighting up the harbour, with help from an array of firms, a spectacular firework show was funded and put on display for the town to enjoy.
Many thanks to;
Fuel Tank Shop
Richard Beaver Ford
Derek Merson Garage
CJ Lynch and Sons
Stones Bar and Restaurant
Maitland Walker Solicitors
Last but not least…
Overall the weekend was a huge success and we would like to offer our most sincere thank you to everyone who attended, and everybody involved in hosting the event. A congratulations is in order for Fastest Paddler, David Farr, who won the Fatyak™ Races with a blistering time of 9 minutes and 23 seconds as well as winners from the other prize categories:
Fastest Female Paddler – Jane Dunn
Fastest Youth Paddler – Ben Pye
Fastest Youth/Adult Paddlers – Henry & Phil Young
Fatyak™ Race Winners David Farr, Jane Dunn, Ben Pye, Henry & Phil Young with Fatyak™ Manager Jayne Blundell and Special Olympics Silver Medallist Steven Dodd
The full results for the Raft Race are included below;
Pro Raft Race
1. 14 – Wonder Y, from Tring, male (Derek Williams Cup)
2. 5 – Madsat Black 6, from Herefordshire, male
3. 13 – Wonder Y ladies, from Tring, female
4. 17 – Vikings Raft Team, from Alcester, male (2)
5. 18 – Vikings Raft Team, from Alcester, male (4)
6. 2 – Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, young male (First local Raft, Old Ship Aground – Ale)
7. 1- Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, old male
8. 16 – The Victory Pub, from Hereford, mixed
9. 15 – The Victory Pirates, from Herefoprd, mixed
10. 19 – Rest and Be, from Wheddon Cross, mixed
11. 4 – The Black Pig, from Wheddon Cross, male
12. 12 – Fatyaks™ Kayaks, from Williton, male
13. 7 – Dunster Beach 1, from Dunster, male
14. 10- 5th time lucky, from Minehead, male
15. 11 – Mandy’s many men, from Minehead, mixed
16. 9 – The Gym, from Bishopstoke, male
Sank – Valient Soldier, from Roadwater, female
1. L – Minehead Barbarians, from Minehead, male (First Fancy Dress – Channel Training Prize)
2. J – Seahorse Centre, from Minehead, mixed
3. H – Blind Mice / SpecSavers, from Minehead, mixed
4. E – Exmoor Hill Farming Network, from Minehead, mixed (Most Original Raft – Mike Arnold)
5. K – Chillys Car Car, from Minehead, mixed
6. C – The Village People, from Wooten Courtney, male
7. A – Have a Go Halcon, from Taunton, mixed
8. D – Three men in a Sub, from Lincoln, male
9. Q – Deso Engineering, from Williton, male
10. N – GB Scaffolding, from Minehead, male
11. F – 1st Watchet Sea Scouts, from Watchet, mixed (Best Fancy Dress – House Doctors Cup)
12. B – Brookfood Processing, from Williton, mixed
13. G – British Heart Foundation
14. M – Tesco, from Minehead, mixed
15. Q – The Happy Campers (caravan), from Minehead, male
A huge thanks again to the RNLI, whose work encapsulates the spirit of everything the weekend was about, as well as The Old Ship Aground for their never-ending support of the event, and being the lifeblood of culture on Minehead Harbour. See you all again next year!