Daily crowds of 20,000 expected for free Festival of Watersports event

Organisers are urging people to not miss out on an “absolutely phenomenal” free experience this weekend when the Hanseatic Festival of Watersports returns to Lynn.

Water ski races, jet ski and powerboat racing – with breathtaking speeds of up to 100pmh – and a number of exciting demonstrations will keep punters entertained.

Live music by local band Redemption and fireworks on Saturday night, as well as daily flypasts, will keep the fun going long after the roar of the engines from River Ouse has died down.

Crowds enjoy last year's event
Crowds enjoy last year’s event

Daily crowds of around 20,000 lined the town’s historic quay last year and similar numbers are predicted to soak up the sunshine on Saturday and Sunday at the popular event.

Jason Russell, one of the ‘ski race’ organisers, said: “The enjoyment you see on the children’s faces, the grown ups seeing the adrenaline on the water, the speed of the boats coming past just in front of you.

“It’s just a phenomenal event and it’s grown and grown since 2015 and it’s a massive event for Lynn and West Norfolk to get it on its calendar.

“The skiers are very tough athletes, they’re skiing on that river at speeds of up to 100mph. There’s nowhere else you can go and get so close to high speeds like that. Offshore racing boats and jet ski racing takes place too, it’s an adrenaline-packed weekend.

“It’s just absolutely phenomenal – it’s the only way of describing it. Anyone who hasn’t seen it needs to come and have a look at it.”

The on-water activities, which includes under-8s on skis, are set to commence at 10.30am and finish at around 3.45pm on both days. A Spitfire (Saturday) and Hurricane (Sunday) flypast is planned for 1.15pm each daas part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

“We’ll have people here from America, Holland, Belgium and France – they come from all over,” added Mr Russell.

“At first it was a little local event and it’s grown massively each year beyond expectations. It’s ranked as one of the best watersport venues and events in the world. The quay will be absolutely packed. There’s food stalls, drinks, entertainment – it’s just a fantastic day out, both days.”

The event is organised by the Hanseatic Festival of Watersports committee which comprises of Jason Russell, Tom and Michelle Lumley, Andrew Hornigold, Richard Stannard and Dan Roberts with support from West Norfolk Council.

Mr Lumley said: “Since its concept we have invested a lot of time and effort into this event and it has truly paid off. I would like to thank all the sponsors, especially the borough council and Peter Carter Haulage for their support. We also appreciate the Belgian teams coming over to the UK to support this event.”

The Festival is supported by Adrian Flux, Barrus, Bartram Manufacturing, West Norfolk Council, Carter Haulage, Listers BMW, Minuteman Press, Rollins Electrical and Studio 20a.

Mr Lumley added: “If any individuals or companies are interested in being part of this event and would like to be a sponsor , we would welcome you with open arms.”

For up-to-date information and a detailed timetable for the seventh edition of the two-day spectacle, search Hanseatic Ski Race on Facebook.