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Fun reaches new heights at Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival

Jet Ski Display

Jet ski stunt riders will flip in the air, and dive under the water, during a major seafaring festival.

The all-action display of jet ski skills will take place against a harbour backdrop lined with a fleet of historic, and modern ships and boats at Great Yarmouth’s Maritime Festival.

Riders, who are all former British and European champions, will do 15ft tall backflips, perform a series of barrel rolls, aerial spins, spray fountains from their machines, and even dive underwater during a series of 15-minute choreographed displays.

The shows by the Wrexham-based DJR Freestyle Jet Ski Display Team will be among a packed weekend during the festival on the weekend of September 10th and 11th.

Show organiser Aileen Mobbs said: “The skills of these riders are amazing. They were newcomers last year and were jaw-dropping, so due to popular demand, we have asked them back to do something even bigger and better.

“It is breath-taking to watch and we are grateful to Peel Ports for allowing them to display in a working river,” she added.

The best vantage point for watching the displays - which are at 11am 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm on both days, plus 4.30pm on Saturday – is the south end of the quayside.

The festival, which attracts 30,000 people to the town, aims to showcase Great Yarmouth’s seafaring heritage as well as its modern day role as a busy port and offshore support base – all laced with family fun and entertainment.

Latest addition to the list of visiting ships is the Anna TX37, a 1931 two-masted gaff schooner from Belgium, which has been converted from a fishing boat to a charter sailing ship.

Popular pleasure boat Regal Lady is also making a homecoming to the port where she was built in the 1930s to once again give fun rides to trippers. (£6 adults, £3 children aged 5-14, under-4s free)

Ships that visitors will be able to board include:

• Earl of Pembroke – a vintage sailing ship which has starred in more than a dozen films and TV series including Hornblower and Treasure Island. Visitors who want to beat the queues can book a ‘FastTrack’ ticket online at

• Esvagt Service Operation Vessel – a rare chance to go on board and look around a brand new offshore windfarm service vessel which will be officially named in the port the day before the festival opens. Visitors should pre-book the tours online.

• Lydia Eva - the only surviving steam herring drifter which is now a floating museum charting the port’s fishing heydays. Tours £2 adults, children free.

Moored vessels will include modern and current lifeboats, a Belgian research vessel, a Victorian racing cutter, Dutch tug, and a motor torpedo boat.

Quayside entertainment will include shanty and folk singers, street entertainers, craft and conservation displays, along with military reenactors, and herring barbecues.

The event is staged by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District Area, as part of its drive to attract visitors and spending to the borough using a levy from local traders.

Its chairman Gareth Brown said: “The Maritime Festival is currently our biggest single event, and is popular because people can get close up to some stunning big ships, while savouring the town’s past and having some fun.

“It helps show visitors that the Great Yarmouth has more to offer than just its well-known seafront.”

For more details, along with a short film called Making Waves, see the festival website