The West Mersea Town Regatta has been running since 1838 and forms a wonderfully festive end to Mersea Week . This year, as always, there were sailing races in the morning for smacks, yachts, dinghies and open fishermen's boats, with up to 150 boats taking part, so it was quite a spectacle.
I didn't go out sailing that day - I had relatives arriving during the morning and the races start very early - but the TM and crew, Richard and John, put up a magnificent show in Black Diamond, winning the Fast Classics race with style. Sailing photos below are by Leafy, who was out with her camera, racing on her family's beautiful boat, Ivy Green.
Once the racing crews were ashore, it was time for the immensely popular water sports - an entertaining range of fun rowing races for all ages as well as the famous 'greasy pole' competition.
In previous years there has always been a bit of a lull immediately after the watersports, when people tend to drift off home, but this time there was a new event, 'Song & Dance' - brainchild of Regatta Commodore Chrissie Westgate - to keep the waterfront buzzing. Two and a half hours of shanty singing, ceilidh dancing and live bands, with hot and cold food and a bar.
It was all great fun, very family-friendly, and well worth all the hard work before, during and afterwards. There were real live eighteenth-century Pirates on parade and joining in the dancing, too! After the day's prizegiving ceremony, the Regatta ended in the usual way with the magnificent Grand Firework Display, which half the island (or so it seemed) turned out to enjoy.
(The images on the poster I put together to publicise the Song & Dance (below), are by island artist and doyen of the greasy-pole, Leafy Dumas, whose lovely website and blog you can find here.)
These are a few representative pictures. Lots more can be found on the Town Regatta website and on the Mersea Session blog.