Broads yacht companies want new festival to showcase ‘all things sailing’

The Broads Sailing Festival is taking place in Ludham on Sunday, bringing together a range of boating businesses for taster sessions, exhibits and entertainment.

It has been organised by Broads Sailing, founded by five boat companies who claim to be the final cabin yacht hire firms on the Broads.

While British sailing teams have excelled in recent international competitions including the Olympic Games, interest in sailing as a hobby has waned in traditional heartlands like the Broads.

Annie Hamilton, of Broads Sailing member Eastwood Whelpton in Upton, said the festival had been styled around events like Goodwood Festival of Speed to showcase “all things sailing”.

The company, which she and her husband Andy run, will be joined by fellow Broads Sailing members Martham Boats at Martham, Hunter’s Yard and Swallowtail Boatyard in Ludham and Oliver’s Sailing Holidays at Martham Ferry.

Mrs Hamilton says: “There are a lot of boat shows around but they are more for motor cruisers than sailing yachts. This will be an opportunity to promote sailing but also promote some of the other companies and training providers, to show how accessible it is to try sailing on the Broads.”

The festival, organised with the Friends of St Catherine’s Church Ludham, will be taking place across four locations around Ludham: Womack House, where the Wherry Yacht Charter Trust will have the Norada wherry yacht on show; Hunters Yard, where visitors can experience yacht sailing taster sessions with instructors; Swallowtail Boatyard, where pedal boat builder Dad’s Boats and the Broadsbeat Police will be exhibiting; and Little Holland, where there will be yachts on show from Martham Boats and Eastwood Whelpton, plus representatives from local sailing clubs and associations including Nancy Oldfield Trust, Horning Sailing Club, East Anglian Cruising Association and Martham Boatowners Association.

There will also be refreshments and live music.

The event runs from 10am to 5pm. Car parking will be available in Staithe Road with a ferry service also running from Hall Farm Common.

Story by Bethany Whymark for the Eastern Daily Press

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