BOATS big and small took to the water to mark the Queen's birthday in style.

The display began at 10am and involved displays by the RNLI. Weymouth Rowing club also got into the spirit, fixing a Union Flag to their gig.

The event was organised by Gareth Peaston from the Royal Dorset Yacht Club, who said he was 'delighted' with the number of boats that turned out to join the celebration.

He thanked the crowds for their support, the Mayor and High Sherriff for taking the salute, the lifeboat for putting on a display for the crowds near the pier, and Weymouth and Portland Borough council and the Harbour Master for all their help in making the event go “extremely smoothly.”

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted. This time of year with people still getting their boats ready for the season, I was hoping we might get 40 boats. I have had various estimates that put it between 70 to 80 boats. There was everything from little ones to kayaks with people with Union Jacks."

He added: “Everyone was having fun. That was the whole idea of the event, to celebrate the wonderful milestone our Queen has reached.”

Mr Peaston said that everyone he had spoken to had thoroughly enjoyed it and he said it had been a “howling success.”

He added: “It’s not the first one we have done and I’m sure with this support, it won’t be the last. Weymouth likes to celebrate. The support from the whole of the boating community in Weymouth has been terrific – I couldn’t fault it. I was out there on the water and I couldn’t believe the number of boats that came out to participate.”

The rowing club had three gigs of junior rowers who all battled the waves to join the procession.
Junior cox'n Dave Archer said: "For me the lovely bit was when we were tied up on the marker buoy and all the juniors joined in one a rendition of God Save the Queen. They all really enjoyed that. Refreshing and a great morning saluting our Queen!"

Photographer Roger Race, of Dorchester Camera Club, attended the event to get some good shots.
He said: "I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice to see the lifeboats out doing the exercise they did. I was at the end of the pier for most of the parade and the view from the harbour entrance, watching all the boats come across, it was just stunning. 
"I got a lovely perspective with all the boats coming across the bay. It was certainly something different and we really got the weather for it."

Wyke Regis Coastguard Officers also attended to wish a very happy birthday to Her Majesty.

Mr Race got this picture of crowds enjoying getting into the patriotic spirit.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth Queens Birthday Boat Procession