Portsoy’s annual boat festival attracted more than 13,000 visitors to the town for a weekend of maritime culture and heritage celebrations.

Held over the 1-2 July weekend, this year’s ACE Winches Scottish Traditional Boat Festival was officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, and featured live music and dance, Scottish food and drink, and age-old crafts.

HRH The Princess Royal opened the festival, which was celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The festival, which this year celebrated its 30th anniversary, also showcased a wide range of heritage vessels. “We had around 30 boats in attendance this year, including our flagship vessel Reaper,” said festival committee chairman David Urquhart.

“This was her first event following significant restoration works and she was a real highlight for many of our visitors. They welcomed around 1,000 visitors onboard over the weekend.

“We were also delighted to welcome St Vincent, a 15.2m Zulu and one of the last remaining Lochfyne skiffs, Clan Gordon,” he said. The two vessels were relaunched on the west coast this spring following complete restorations.

“It was the first time these boats had attended the event and they really enjoyed being part of the festival’s unique atmosphere, and having the opportunity to meet with other skippers and crews.”

The newly relaunched Lochfyne skiff Clan Gordon and Zulu St Vincent were first-time visitors to the festival.

David Urquhart said that it was an ‘honour and a privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness to our annual festival’.

“As patron of several maritime-related organisations, she had a keen interest in the event and spent some time touring the site and speaking to the festival volunteers and committee, who dedicate many, many months of planning to organise the event.

“The princess also spoke to several of the exhibitors and attendees within our craft fayre and food fayre, which was a special moment for everyone involved.”

He said the event, which is one of the largest maritime festivals in Scotland, ‘plays an important role in telling the North East’s maritime story, and the feedback we’ve had from visitors has been positive’.

“We have had people travel from Australia, the USA and New Zealand to join us this weekend, which is truly remarkable,” he said.

Sponsors of this year’s event included ACE Winches, Glenglassaugh, Puffin Pellets, Hamlyns of Scotland Oatmeal, Macduff Shipyards, Portsoy Thrift Shop, Twice Buried Rum, Moray West, Urquhart Joinery Services and Gray Composting Services.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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