Tue, Jan 23, 2024 8:00 AM

Maritime merriment


William Woodworth

Picton’s popular 2024 Maritime Festival has attracted record crowds.

Competitions on and off the water kept competitive spirits high, with entertainment on the Interislander stage proving a firm family favourite.

Picton Maritime Festival organizer Beryl Bowers says people have been remarking to her how well the event has been received.

“This has definitely been our biggest Maritime Festival so far; we’ve estimated 6000 people have come along over the two days.

“I couldn’t be happier with everything … even down to our performance as part of the Acapella Belles.

“New people that joined this year as vendors and helpers have said they couldn’t believe how well-run, calm and organised this weekend has been for us.”

Finnian, Aisling, Ruairi and Christopher O'Malley - team Modern Day Pirates - with their build-a-raft entry.

Queen Charlotte College’s Kapa Haka group kicked off the event on Friday, followed by a variety show of artistic and musical acts through into the evening.

Tug-of-war contests, Clinker boat trips, learn to row activities, Surf Life Saving displays entertained throughout Saturday, before the night’s entertainment of The Blueprint, PRINS and Leanne Meikle saw an outdoor dancefloor with a firework display in the harbour to finish.

Picton Maritime Festival crew (L/R) Rebecca Woledge, David Collins, Beryl Bowers and Vicki Pook.

“I just love how from its beginnings the Maritime Festival has developed as a great community event where we have groups performing and displaying that willing to volunteer their time and help whoever, where they can with the weekend,” Beryl says.

“Everyone including us, stallholders, performers attendees, and security staff have had a great time, and we hope everyone that has joined in did as well.”

Plenty of kids got stuck into the learn to row demonstrations on the water.
The Picton pontoon was not only used as the turnpoint of the raft races, but as a scenic spot to pop some Manu's.
Ash McGlynn and Georgie Bradley race down the waterslide, which Crafar Crouch provided Blenheim water for.
Children's entertainer Kath Bee had the kids and kids at heart up for a boogie.
The Junior Raft Race champions for 2024, the Crafty Rafters - Noah, Isaac, Matty and Matt.
Rarangi Surf Life Savers Jack Watts, Ben Lynfield and Matt Lucas.
The Picton Foreshore transformed into a carnival for Saturday.
The Waka Wahine power through to the finish line.
The Junior Raft Race got off to a sprint start in front of a bumper crowd.
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