A NEW marine festival will give hundreds of youngsters the chance to try out activities on the water.
Gosport Marine Scene is organising the first festival of its kind, which will have food, music and different sports for people to have a go at.
There will be around 1,000 places for the watersports so we hope to get lots of young people involved and having fun on the water.Organiser Councillor John Beavis
There will be around 1,000 places for young people to try sailing, kayaking and power-boating.
The festival will be held at Haslar Marina in June and organiser Councillor John Beavis said he is excited.
‘The idea has really taken off,’ he said.
‘When Gosport Marine Scene held the first board meeting last year, we decided we wanted to hold a festival of some kind to show what Gosport has to offer.
‘We will have on-the-water activities for young people to try different watersports.
‘We’re working with sailing clubs from across Gosport who are providing instructors as well as the Sea Cadets, who are donating equipment and help on the day.
‘There will be around 1,000 places for the watersports so we hope to get lots of young people involved and having fun on the water.’
And the fun will not be limited to the water with a range of on-land activities planned as well.
At the marina, there will be a food festival with a range of cuisines and a music festival with students from Gosport schools and colleges performing.
Cllr Beavis added: ‘We wanted to make this event about more than just the watersports.
‘We wanted to make it a day that everyone can enjoy and that is why we added the food festival and the music.
‘Haslar Marina has organised for some historic boats to be on display like torpedo boats and ex-navy boats.
‘We are expecting a lot of people to come into Gosport to see what we have to offer.’
Sailing star Alex Thomson, who is the fastest Britain to sail single-handedly, non-stop around the world, will open the festival, which takes place at Gosport’s Waterfront Millennium Promenade, Timespace and Haslar Marina on June 13.
Tony Salmon, Gosport Sea Cadets’ commanding officer, said: ‘This is going to be a fantastic event to give young people access to the watersports available in the town.
‘We’ll have dinghies, kayaks and rowing boats, plus a couple of bigger boats from the Rona Sailing Trust and Ocean Youth Trust South for people to have a go on.
‘You never know, we might find a future Olympic gold medallist or round-the-world sailor.’