Bristol’s first Harbour Festival (then called Bristol Regatta) was all the way back in 1971, when a group of boat owners headed to the harbour to save the docks from being filled in. They succeeded, and now the much-loved maritime event is one of Bristol’s top annual affairs.
Three impressive tall ships will be sailing into the Harbour to return home – The Kaskelot, The Earl of Pembroke and the Phoenix.
One of the largest remaining wooden ships in commission, The Kaskelot underwent a full restoration in 2014 at Bristol’s historic Underfall Yard. This year, The Kaskelot will be open to the public to explore the bowels of the boat and discover the inner workings of the magnificent vessel.
The Earl of Pembroke will also return home for the weekend; the current rigging has been designed and built to resemble the famous HMS Endeavour, on board which Captain Cook discovered Australia.
The Phoenix was originally built as an Evangelical Mission Schooner but refitted by Square Sail in 1988, sailing on to be the star of numerous television productions and big screen movies. Between them, these three famous ships have graced our screens in hit films such as Return to Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers, and Alice in Wonderland.
Learning Ships – Young Shipwrights Boat Race
Bristol has the highest tidal reach of any city in the world and a rich tradition of ship building and shipping. The Learning Ships project offers exciting, practical ways of engaging students and their families with their region’s maritime heritage and cultural landscape.
Through the Young Shipwrights programme, young people visit exciting locations by boat and work in teams alongside a business volunteer to build working models of Bristol’s historic boats. The programme is sponsored by businesses and is designed to inspire young people to think about their own careers. Every year, more than 100 model boats are created which set sail in the Young Shipwright’s Boat Race. This year the race will take place at 12pm on Saturday 22nd July with the winning boat claiming the £100 prize.
Harbour Festival Cardboard Boat
My Future My Choice are delighted to be running the Harbour Festival Cardboard Boat race for the seventh year. Teams race across the dock using only cardboard to propel themselves and stay afloat. This fun event helps raise money for next year’s Learning Ship’s school’s workshops in which children build model boats to race. If you want to donate to this cause contact info@myfuturemychoice or look out for the stall on the quayside.
FlyBoard Fun returns
FlyBoard Fun was one of the first companies of its kind in the UK and has worked hard to promote this adrenaline-fuelled sport ever since. FlyBoarding uses a jet-ski to pump water up a long hose and out through nozzles under the board itself, shooting the FlyBoarder above the water.
Nuts Over The Atlantic
Nuts Over The Atlantic is a Bristol team competing in the 2017 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge; a 3,000-mile ocean rowing race. During the festival, Team Nuts will be rowing for 36 hours non-stop as part of their UK wide #NutsGoRow promotional fundraising tour.
Western Boat Show
The Western Boat Show covers every aspect of the leisure marine industry from boat builders, canoes, paddle boards, sail makers, marinas, holidays, chandlers, watersports, engine manufacturers, marine and navigation equipment.
The Show is free to all festival visitors, and serious boat owners can buy premium tickets to give them exclusive access to the specialist areas. Tickets with pontoon access to the boats are just £5 for the weekend, located in the Inlet directly opposite the ss Great Britain.