Olympic silver medallist Saskia Clarke calls in on Mersea Regatta.

Essex County Standard: Fun on the water – the balloon race was a riot in the rain Fun on the water – the balloon race was a riot in the rain

A SPECTACULAR fireworks display, wacky races, African dancing and an appearance by Olympian Saskia Clark were highlights of this year’s Mersea Regatta.

The day kicked off with hundreds of people enjoying live music and dancing, with everything from Ghanaian dance and drumming band, One Drum, to the Bocking Brass Band.

Even when the storm clouds gathered and torrential rain lashed down during the afternoon, revellers carried on dancing and enjoying the entertainment. The afternoon saw a host of traditional races, including sculling, rowing, swimming, a balloon race and the grab the flag off the greasy pole.

Mersea’s own Olympic silver medallist Saskia Clarke also made an appearance. Then, in the evening, thousands gathered to enjoy a night of entertainment, which culminated in a huge fireworks show.

Chrissie Westgate, the regatta’s commodore, said: “It truly was a fantastic day. Even throughout the rain, people were dancing and the musicians didn’t stop playing. There was the true Mersea spirit – we didn’t let the rain beat us.”

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