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As much a cruise in company as a maritime festival, Seafair Haven in Pembrokeshire is held in alternate years so that it does not clash with la Semaine du Golfe in France, the event held every two years in France which provides so much of Seafair’s inspiration. Though Milford Haven has some industry, the entrance to the estuary and the backwaters are delightful. There are castles and pretty villages like Langham to discover and at Seafair, you do it together with fleets of sail and oar boats and OGA trailer sailers. Larger craft – pilot cutters, tall ships, classic motorboats and yachts – are also invited, so there will be plenty to see as you set off to explore over 22 miles (35km) of undiscovered waterways.
Seafair Haven is partnered with la Semaine du Golfe in southern Brittany, and that means there will be both Welsh and French music, food, entertainment and hospitality. I went to the first Seafair and particularly enjoyed the Atlantic Challenge gig racing between the Welsh boat John Kerr and the French Tolérance, the cruise up to Pembroke Castle when the tides allowed, some spontaneous Breton dancing at the Milford Haven SC and best of all, the wide variety of interesting boats.
This year’s Seafair festival opens on Saturday 3 July with vessels on show at a Public Day at Milford Docks and the week of racing, cruising and conviviality culminates with a Parade of Sail for all craft on Saturday 10 July, Boat owners interested in taking part are being urged to register their vessel no later than 31 March 2010 at the website: www.seafairhaven.org.uk
Set fair for
FAIR Kathy Mansfield looks forward to
Wales’ Semaine du Milford