WEYMOUTH proved it is a top spot for watersports over the weekend.
The ‘Ecover Blue Mile’ was a hit on Weymouth Beach as competitors, families keen to have a go – and an Olympian – enjoyed a splashing time at the two-day event.
Events included a timed open-water swim, stand up paddleboard (SUP) and kayaking programme, an aquatriathlon and a corporate team challenge.
As well as races, there were taster sessions so people could try watersports and information on how to do more to protect the seas through the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
Olympic gold medal winner Tim Baillie, a canoe slalom champion, headed to Weymouth to get involved.
Mr Baillie secured the gold medal for team GB with his partner Etienne Stott at London’s 2012 Olympic Games.
He competed in both the kayaking and stand-up paddleboard events and took the time to teach youngsters about watersports, which included taking children out to sea for lessons.
Another visitor who proved popular with families was Captain Barnacles from Octonauts. The CBeebies stars are working with the MCS and Weymouth Sea Life to encourage children to learn more about the oceans and the creatures in them.
It marked the start of Wey- mouth and Portland Borough Council’s Dorset Festival of Sport 2014 which runs until August 3.
The festival also marks two years since the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing took place.
The Ecover Blue Mile was in support of the MCS and the charity had a gazebo at the event village where people could find out what they could do to help the seas, shores and wildlife.
Conrad Humphreys, Blue Mile’s organiser, said: “It’s been a great weekend on the water and lots of people have come down.
“Weymouth is such a brilliant venue for watersports and a massive thank you to Tim for coming down for the event.”
He added that this was the first year that the open water swim had taken place.
There was an ‘event village’ on the beach where there were a range of sports-related activities for the whole family. These included £3 kayaking and SUP taster sessions with qualified instructors.