We’ve just completed the second yearly event following the new format for Minehead’s RNLI Harbourfest, and what a weekend! While it would be almost impossible to top the heatwave we experienced last year, the weather treated us all amazingly and plus the event was bigger and better than ever before! Sponsored by ourselves and The Old Ship Aground, we enjoyed yet more stalls and entertainment than before alongside the usual electric mix of live music, Fatyak Kayak races, the Raft Race, and of course – the fireworks. All in aid of raising money to support the RNLI in their key role, supporting what the whole weekend stands for – this year’s Harbourfest truly shaped up to be a great one. Read on for our summary of the event.
Our second year of the new concept for Harbourfest was a great success overall seeing the addition of many new stalls and entertainers such as Acoustic Roots, Bare Bones Trio and Soulville Express providing fun and laughter for the masses! As well as a point of contact for many community organisations.
Over at Fatyak we had a great weekend – people were taking to our free Fatyak taster sessions like ducks to water, and Channel Adventure did a great job of getting everyone safely onto the water. As hype began to build up on the day, we saw an increase in the amount of registrants on the day for our Fatyak Races. We were offering a cash prize of £250 for the fastest paddler, as well as a Hono for the fastest female paddler, and a combined adult/child event for the families.
With safety kindly provided by the RNLI, the course this year consisted of a sprint race to a buoy just past the harbour area, and then back. The fastest overall time was 08:54 set by David Farr for the 2nd year running – the lucky winner of our £250 cash prize! Jane Dunn was our fastest female paddler for the 2nd year running setting a time of 09:55 taking home a Hono board and first place for the family/combined prize went to Jason and Flo Mullet setting an impressive 09:12 – well done to all!
We had a great time over at our stall chatting to everybody, and showcasing our range of products. It’s great to engage with everybody who gets involved with Fatyak and get some feedback on our line, which we are always looking to improve!
The Raft Race on Sunday was as exciting as ever, with teams from as far as Hereford entering the professional category. From the local area, we had teams from The Valient Solider, The Rest and Be Thankful, The Black Pig and more going head to head in the course that ran from Butlins to a buoy marked out in the channel, back towards Minehead beach and then finishing up at Minehead Harbour. Our sister company from under the same roof, Deso Engineering, also competed not doing too badly and coming in 9th position, could be worse! Teams competed for an array of prizes generously donated by sponsors and ourselves, and of course, all money raised was in aid of the RNLI. We are yet to find out but we are sat on the edge of our seats hoping that we exceeded the £10,000 we raised last year for the RNLI and all that they do for the public out at sea and will make sure to post the result as soon as possible!
With such a fantastic atmosphere throughout the daytimes, you might think it could be hard to match when darkness begins to fall – but that certainly wasn’t the case here! The Old Ship Aground did a fantastic job as always of providing some quality live entertainment, with sets from Bare Bones Trio, The Jury, and Snappa on the Saturday, and Acoustic Roots, Little Betty, and Soulville Express on the Sunday. With stage design and lighting kindly provided by New Beginning Productions and weekend-long commentary from Drew Haddon and Josh Searle of Tone FM, the key events of the weekend were extremely well covered.
We would like to give an extremely special mention to Minehead Motor Factors, who donated £300 to the event in memory of Arthur Talbot. Thank you ever so much!
Last but by no means least, we were lucky to be treated to a fantastic fireworks display, sponsored kindly by the following:
– Derek Merson Used Cars
– CJ Lynch & Sons
– Channel Adventure
– Neil Arnold Tyres
– Fuel Tank Shop
– Echo Beach Café
– Singer Instruments
– Beaver Ford
– Minehead Quadbike Sales
– House Doctors
– Julians Commercial Laundry Services
– Chanin & Thomas