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Swanage Lifeboat Festival hits crest of a wave
SWANAGE’S action-packed annual Lifeboat Festival came to a fun-filled climax at the weekend with the infamous raft race and build-a-boat competition.
Hundreds of people took part in nautical-themed events at Prince Albert Gardens, Stone Quay and Swanage beach to mark Lifeboat Week. Now in its 11th year, the family-friendly festival marked the start of its appeal to raise £200,000 for a new Swanage lifeboat station. Dave Turnbull from RNLI Swanage crew said: “There has been such an incredible atmosphere all week, but the highlight has definitely been the build-a-boat race and hilarious raft race. “We are aiming to raise £200,000 and we hope by next weekend to have raised around £60,000.”
The station mechanic signalled the start of the build-a-boat competition on Saturday August 17 which involved 11 teams creating a vessel in four hours and racing them across Stone Quay.
Damsels in distress were rescued from Stone Quay as part of the raft race, where 12 teams competed in pre-prepared rafts to the delight of packed crowds.
Becky Mack from Swanage RNLI: “We get some absolutely amazing costumes – the damsels are often men in dresses, so we have prizes for the best dressed.”
Live music from Frankie Rudd and the Reptiles kept revellers celebrating all Saturday evening and the Swanage Town band graced the stage at Prince Albert Gardens on Sunday.
Numerous other events took place including a golf competition, the Great Swanage Bake Off, Swanage Angling Club Comp and charity duck race.
The nautical extravaganza was topped off with the Lifeboat fun run featuring around 100 participants and lifeboat festival and fair yesterday.
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