Press release 06.05.2019
Fabulous launch event for My Blue Pass
Over 80 young people braved hail, snow and gale force winds to take to the water off Manningtree beach in a free Beach Boat Bash put on by My Blue Pass, a new water sports charity on Saturday.(May 4)
It was part of the RYA’s Push the Boat Out in May campaign
The charity has 140 signed up young members who were given the opportunity to try out dinghies, kayaks and paddle boards and taken out on the river in motor launches in challenging conditions and choppy waters and icy winds.
The RNLI inshore lifeboat put in a brief appearance before being called out on a live emergency at sea where two yachts were dismasted off Harwich.
The young participants many of whom had never been on the water gave the event 100 per cent thumbs in an on the beach survey with 100 per cent of them saying they would be back for more.
Quay Street was closed to traffic and the town was decorated with flags and bunting and the whole community including the fire brigade, the air cadets, local scouts, and the employees of local company Vanguard all gave up their free time to help.
Younger children were entertained by Punch & Judy and Magician Chris Maine, and all the participants were given free food and drink. The Face painting and the raffle were also hugely successful with many local firms donating fabulous prizes a list of the winners can be found on the facebook page.
The two winners of the Best Dressed Pirate competition were four year old Samuel Francis from Lawford and six year old Holly Vincent from Wrabness.
Samuel’s family win a complementary Day out for Four at Colchester zoo and Holly’s family win a meal for a family of four at Lucca’s in Manningtree.
The raffle was also hugely successful with many local firms donating fabulous prizes with the main prize of the jelly tiger donated by Townsends, was re-drawn and won by James Garrard who runs the burger van on the Walls at Manningtree.
A total of £871 was raised by raffle, of which £664 was raised before the event much of it here outside the Co-op. Thank you Co-op shoppers.
A list of the winners can be found on the My Blue Pass facebook page.
Garron Baines chair of MBP said : “ These young people through their enthusiasm and excitement proved to the community the demand for young people to get out and have fun on the water and to learn the skills of sailing and kayaking. We are planning taster sessions throughout the summer to make water sports a central part of family life on the River Stour celebrating our beautiful surroundings.
We would like to thank every one for helping to make the event such a success. It was fabulous to see so many young people having fun and prepare for a lifetime of water sports.
Special thanks to the three boat owners who took passage loads of excited young people up and down the river, to Ipswich canoe Club for teaching young kayakers and paddle boarding supplied by Curve Wake Park of St Osyth and to our own band of instructors who led the event. Thanks to East Anglian Sea School for stepping into the breach with a safety boat supplied at the last minute when one of the MBP boats developed a fault.
Specials thanks to our sponsors Concord and to Vanguard and their entire Lawford workforce who were on the front line and behind the scenes making it such a success.”
Simon Hall, former High Sheriff of Essex and a charity sponsor through the Mistley Maltings Trust who enjoyed a power boat ride said:
“Well done to you. It was a very happy and vibrant occasion. I wish you continued success.”
James Newell, Head Teacher Wix and Wrabness said : BBB was a raging success.
The event was organised brilliantly and I would thoroughly endorse this to all schools I am linked with.”
Robbie Bell, RYA Regional Development Officer for the East Region said: “This is an amazing outcome for the MBP and the young people living close to the River Stour. This new charity has powered ahead with a new vision to engage with young people and it is hoped this is a model others will follow. I have great expectations for a new generation of young sailors taking to the waters of the Stour and look forward to hearing about their successes.”
Hayley Hunt posted on FB “Amazing day. Super well organised with enthusiastic volunteers. Felt safe with the children having supervision on the water.”
Rita Tramonte posted on FB :” It's run by a very professional team and They are very excited to take young people onto the water . they know exactly what they are doing to bring something different in the community !
My Blue Pass provides opportunities on the water for 8-16 year olds completely free of charge, through a range of challenging but fun water based activity.