Many more pictures of the day on my Flickr set "Ramsgate Trawler Races"
First stop, the boat jumble and RNLI station for a nosey around. Avoiding the opportunity to buy second-hand cleats and half-price rope, the boat jumble was a few stalls on the way to the RNLI. And they'd even timed a rescue for our visit, although happily it looked more like a simple mechanical breakdown than a major maritime disaster:
And then the trawler day.
The race looked a bit like all the trawlers and a few other boats just disappearing off to Broadstairs for half an hour, but when they came back it livened up in the harbour as a major battle broke out. There'd been a fair amount of hosing out at sea, with the RNLI lifeboat and the Fisheries Patrol vessel clearly releasing a lot of built up tension as they sprayed all and sundry whenever they came within range, but in the confines of the harbour it was mayhem. Fun, fun, fun. Some nicely decorated boats, one very dodgy inflatable figurehead, a fair scattering of pirate outfits and enough water bombs, buckets and hoses to keep everyone happy.
Not quite as much fun for the jetskiers that came off just outside the harbour and then struggled for half an hour to get back on, and off, and on, much to the amusement and quite unsympathetic applause of the watching crowd.
The picture sequence here was repeated half a dozen times, and then it became apparent it wouldn't start after its repeated dunkings.
I'd seen them being whistled at and waved off by the beach lifeguard a few minutes earlier as they raced past the swimmers' area on the Main Sands (about 50 yards out, but still potentially dodgy), so sympathy was in quite short supply.
Eventually a rescue boat came for a look, just as a fellow jetskier came to help as well, and towed the knackerd boat and rider home, so that was ok then - they were clearly starting to get tired and drifting towards the harbour wall a little, so it needed sorting, but with about twenty small boats within shouting distance they weren't about to get ignored. But they were about to get in the way.
A biplane flew over for a look . . .
And then to the Jazz Festival up on the East Cliff. We just saw the Harbour Jazz Orchestra and the John Altman Quartet - who completely looks like the archetypal jazzman - and it was clearly a long and excellent day, supported with beer, food and a sizeable audience all enjoying the funky sounds.
With fireworks to round off the day and a final drink in the Foy Boat it's hard to see what else could be added to improve a Bank Holiday Sunday in Ramsgate. Well done everyone, we enjoyed it heaps!! Can we do it all again next Sunday please?