Regatta promises to be better than ever

ONE of north Suffolk's most popular events promises to be better than ever in 2003.The Smack and Classic Boat Regatta, held at Southwold Harbour is part of the Solebay Festival and is now in its sixth year.

ONE of north Suffolk's most popular events promises to be better than ever in 2003.

The Smack and Classic Boat Regatta, held at Southwold Harbour is part of the Solebay Festival and is now in its sixth year.

This year organisers are promising it will be even more spectacular with an extra day of events.

Festival organiser Adele Buckley said: "This event has quickly established itself as popular with boating enthusiasts and the general public.

"It is very much part of the summer attractions at Southwold with many people visiting the town to see the boats put through their paces."

Historic craft of all shapes and sizes enter the harbour on the River Blyth and make a wonderful sight in what many people regard as one of the most picturesque areas of the regin.

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"It is true that there could hardly be a more appropriate setting for an event of this kind than Southwold Harbour.

"So many visitors comment on how good the boats look and how beautiful the harbour area is at Southwold," said Ms Buckley.

More than 50 vessels are expected to take part in the regatta including some dating back more than 130 years.

These include fishing boats from the east coast that would have begun their working lives in East Anglia but many others from all over Britain make the journey to Southwold.

One of the highlights of the regatta is the Solebay race when the historic vessels compete over a course off Southwold that gives everyone a good view from the town's beaches and pier.

The itinerary for this year's event include:

Wednesday, June 25 _ Boats arrive at the harbour from 3pm to be greeted by the Blue New Orleans Marching Jazz Band.

Sea shanties at the Harbour Inn with the "Rum Old Buoys" from 8pm.

Thursday, June 26 _ Solebay race off the town with a start at approximately 10am with the boats returning to the harbour at about 4pm.

Shanty Jack and Robin Garside will be entertaining on the stage outside the Harbour Inn from 3pm and The Old Gaffers entertain in the Harbour Inn during the evening.

Friday, June 27 _ Classics race to Lowestoft for lunch with a start off Southwold at approximately 10.30am.

Entertainment on the harbour stage begins at 2pm with Summer Wine, Shanty Jack and Robin Garside. John Ward and Mario Price will be in the Harbour Inn from 8pm.

Saturday, June 28 _ Water frolics begin at 11am to include a blindfold rowing race, bungee running, greasy pole competition, tug of war, and a best dressed boat competition (Concourse de'elegance).

From noon music will be supplies by the Cromer Smugglers, Shanty Jack and Robin Garside.

The event comes to a close with a spectacular firework display on Southwold seafront at 10pm.

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david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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