Sparrows UK


The Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea – promoted by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – returns for a third year, from  Monday 22nd June to Sunday 5th July 2015, with dozens of themed events and activities for local people and visitors to enjoy.


The popular annual celebration of the Island’s nautical heritage will be highlighted by “anchor” events bringing visitors a memorable fourteen filled with shanty bands, arts & crafts exhibitions, lighthouse tours, sea safaris and, of course, delicious seafood. 


Since it began in 2013, the Festival of the Sea has welcomed thousands of visitors to the Island.  Last year, VIOW joined forces with J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race organisers to create an even bigger spectator event. 


This year’s race which regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors – making it one of the largest yacht races in the world – takes place on Saturday 27th June.


A fantastic new event for 2015, “Shipwreck Isle”, in Ryde on Sunday, 28th June, will present a swashbuckling mix of piratical fun and entertainment.   


Shipwreck Isle will take place at Appley Beach with a full programme of activities centred on and around the beach.   Seafront events will include stunt action sword-fighting, historical re-enactments, canon and firearm demonstrations – and the “Pirates of the Caribbean Europe Group” who will be out in force with their Caribbean Village on the beach.


An event of mammoth proportions, “Dinosaurs by the Sea” will also be dropping anchor on Saturday 4th July when visitors and locals alike will be invited to be part of a record-breaking attempt in forming the world’s largest human Tyrannosaurus Rex at Appley Beach.


Meanwhile, Small Hope Beach in Shanklin will be pioneering an alternative Festival of the Sea finale with the Island’s only ‘beach festival’ with a twist. The “All at Sea” beach festival on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July will have a Birdman contest, Cardboard Boat race, with more activities to be confirmed shortly.


With a packed timetable of events planned this June and July, VIOW is hoping that Festival of the Sea 2015 will encourage people to plan a trip and experience the Island’s seafaring history and heritage for themselves.


They hope to broaden the festival’s spread even further than last year and are inviting organisations, towns and villages to come up with their own nautically-inspired events, which will be promoted by VIOW for free.


David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said, “The Festival of the Sea has the potential to become an integral part of the Island’s summertime fun and after last year’s tremendous success, we want to offer a rich mix of quality events to attract even more people to attend. We hope to have workshops, performances, open days, sport events, exhibitions, talks, demonstrations, beach events, food events and more. We’d also love to see towns and shops decorated in a nautical theme.”


The Festival of the Sea will be marketed through all media channels and anyone interested in hosting an event or providing a promotional offer to grow their business or promote their village or town, should visit while the festival programme is being developed.


A full schedule of events will be listed on




Press contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail:


Notes for Editors:


Images attached:


1) “Hauling the pots” – Ocean Blue, will once again be running Sea Safaris from Ventnor Haven

2)   The “Pirates of the Caribbean Europe Group”, who will be at Shipwreck Isle, which forms parts of the Festival of the Sea, on Sunday, 28th June.


Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:


Shipwreck Isle (28th June) and Dinosaurs by the Sea (4th July)


These events are organised by Roger Crouch, tel. 07739 373567, e-mail


All at Sea (4/5th July)


This event is organised by John Hawkins, Beach Events, tel. 07973 669 176, e-mail,


The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Yacht Race


Held on the longest day this year, Saturday 21st June, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it the largest yacht race of its kind in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK.


Competitors come from all over Great Britain, from other parts of Europe and from as far away as Australia and the USA to race the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron ‘line’ in Cowes, the massive fleet, often flying brightly coloured spinnakers, races westabout to The Needles, around St Catherine’s Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.


For those not competing, the Island and the South coast have many great vantage points to watch the Race unfold, such as the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hurst Castle, and The Needles.

(separate vantage point list/map )

Media enquiries: Peta Stuart-Hunt, ISC Race Press Officer | 07711 477707