Spirit of the Sea Maritime Festival 09 Looks Set for Success
6th June 2009
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The second Spirit of the Sea Maritime Festival in Dorset takes place this year between 4th - 12th July and promises to showcase an even bigger range of maritime-related events . This year organisers want to get people in, on or under the water with a range of watersports taster sessions including, sailing, diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing, fishing, snorkelling and kayaking.

The festival will feature a huge range of cultural activities including the spectacular 'Moving Tides Children's Procession' and dance performances on the beach and at Portland Bill. Also new for this year will be a 'Hardy Tour of Portland' organised by the Hardy Society, identifying many of the locations found in his books and bringing to life much loved passages of literature.

This year's festival stretches right across Dorset. In particular, the picturesque village of Abbotsbury has embraced the event and is holding various activities starting with a literary competition to write a sea shanty and maritime short stories for children and adults to be judged by Julian Fellows. There will also be a Sea Art and Fossil Sculptures exhibition, a Sea and Coastal photographic exhibition, the SeaAbbotsbury 'Spirit of the Sea' Exhibition and guided walks.

The Spirit of the Sea Maritime Festival's signature events includes the Dorset Seafood Festival, MarineEx Trade Show, Henri Lloyd Weymouth Regatta, International Maritime Modelling Festival and Beach Live. New activities taking place this year will range from a Tudor Picnic at Sandsfoot Gardens, Art in the Park on Portland and Island Voices Community Choir to gig racing, beach games and sports. In addition to all this, more events are being registered almost every day.

SS Shieldhall will be in for all nine days where guided tours will be available and the ship can be hired for corporate events. The 'Shieldhall' is a heritage ship included in the National Historic Ships Core Collection and is recognised as the largest working steamship of her type in Britain and probably Europe.

Spirit of the Sea Maritime Festival is positioned as a 2012 legacy project. This means the whole region will benefit from it up to and beyond the Olympic sailing events at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy. On Saturday 11 July - during the festival - the sailing academy is holding an open day where visitors may bump into one of the Olympians often found practicing on the water.

This year's festival has once again been supported by National Boat Shows, who run Southampton Boat Show and London Boat Show and help provide marketing support. In return, Spirit of the Sea provides a great platform to promote the two most important shows in the sailing calendar.

If you are planning to visit the festival it is advisable to book accommodation early as many providers found themselves fully booked last year.

For accommodation, please click here.

To keep up with information about Spirit of the Sea visit www.spiritofthesea.org.uk or follow the event on Twitter - spiritofthesea

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