Despite poor weather conditions the annual Barclays Jersey Boat Show continued to attract visitors over the spring Bank Holiday weekend.
Saturday’s fine weather attracted large volumes of visitors to the show, with St Helier Marina alone recording in excess of 5,000 people on the pontoons viewing the watercraft. Similarly, quayside exhibitors and caterers recorded positive trading and the day’s programme included stage entertainment, with performances from Backbeat and The Jersey Bounce as well as on water displays and demonstrations, including fly-boarding and jet-skiing.
Due to last-minute operational reasons the visiting Royal Navy ship, HMS MERSEY was unable to sail to the Island and did not appear at the show. However, visitors were treated to a ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony on Saturday afternoon and brief concert on Sunday from the visiting Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Commando Training Centre. A further sell-out free public concert has been arranged at Victoria College for Monday evening. There were also additional Royal Navy assets to see both on the water and as part of the Military Village static display in Weighbridge Place.
Sunday and Monday’s weather conditions did impact on a number of planned activities, which for safety reasons had to be cancelled. This included the Kids Play Zone area, the Sea Sunday Service and Monday’s on water demonstrations.
Although the show closed at 3pm on Monday, slightly earlier than planned due to increasing poor weather conditions and strong winds, many of the proposed activities did take place and breaks in the poor weather earlier on Sunday did attract large numbers of visitors.
Throughout the weekend images and updates was posted via the show’s social media channels, which allowed it to reach a larger audience and generate further interest. These responses and comments were very favourable, clearly demonstrating how popular the show remains.
On behalf of Ports of Jersey, Myra Shacklady, original founder of the Jersey Boat Show, says, “Despite the weather conditions we have once again delivered a successful show in terms of planned activities and offerings. Every outdoor event organiser will agree that despite the best intentions we are ultimately in the hands of the weather, regardless of the time of year. On behalf of the team I would like to say a sincere thank you to everyone who has supported us this year, whether as a sponsor, exhibitor or participant as well as, of course members of the public who visited the show. This was our 10th show and we look forward to doing it all again next year, albeit in more favourable weather conditions”.
The future of Jersey’s boat show, which remains the largest free-entry event in the Channel Islands is guaranteed for a further two-years thanks to an extended agreement with its title sponsor Barclays. The show remains entirely self-funded by Ports of Jersey with no public investment or government grant given. Commercial sponsorship and exhibitor fees allow organisers to stage the event and retain its free entry policy.
The 11th Barclays Jersey Boat Show is confirmed to take place in 2018 and will be officially launched later this year.