Model boats set sail for an annual boat race

Kent’s coastline is brimming with aspiring sailors as more than a hundred model boats have been released into the waters.

This is following the beginning of the Great East Kent Boat Race, an annual event where anyone can release a boat into the waters of Kent and compete to win a grand prize of £100.

The race began on Sunday the 2nd of May, with competitors releasing their model boats across five carefully-selected beaches in Kent, at different times depending on the high tide from 3:50pm to 5:20pm.

163 boats have been released across Dover, Margate, Herne Bay, Hythe and Sheerness. The race will end tomorrow at noon, where judges with photograph any surviving boats and decide which boats travelled the farthest over the few days and nights that they braved the weather.

The three winners of the race will receive cash prizes based on their ranking: 3rd Place will receive £50, 2nd Place will get £75 and the model boat that travels the farthest will receive a whopping £100.

Every person that registered for the race was sent a model boat kit and given several rules as to the modifications allowed on each boat. Propulsion devices were not allowed, as well as making sure all additions to the base model were biodegradable materials.

Model Boats have launched from coasts all across East Kent, with a winner being decided tomorrow.

The rules also requested to paint the boat with vibrant colours, as the race is being filmed from the air and the bright colours will allow the boats to stand out from the water.

Alongside this, the boats must be given names, painted in acrylic for better waterproofing. The names vary, with some contestants taking the competition more seriously (Majestic Blackbird, Hopeful Kite, Royal Neptune), while others decided on more comedic names for their model boats (Seas the Day, Yachts All Folks, Boaty McBoatFace).

All proceeds from the Great East Kent Boat Race will go to the Province of East Kent 2025 Festival.