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Festival of the Sea PressOne of the world’s largest yacht races and an appearance by Johnny Depp’s stunt double are amongst the highlights of a two-week seaside festival returning to the Isle of Wight this month.

The Festival of The Sea, which was created by the Island’s Destination Marketing Organisation, Visit Isle of Wight, will involve 100 events on land and at sea. The Festival is now in its third year and will take place from 22nd June to 5th July.

The headline event is the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, on Saturday 27th June, which is organised by the Island Sailing Club and typically attracts 1700 yachts and 16,000 sailors. Competitors from around the world will attempt to circumnavigate the Island’s 50 nautical mile course, with crowds enjoying a coastline view.

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jacksparrowlookalikeOn Sunday 28th June, Appley Beach will be transformed into ‘Shipwreck Isle’ with cannon demonstrations, sword fighting and Jack Sparrow lookalike Simon Newton, who doubled for Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Younger visitors are invited to dress up in their swashbuckling outfits for pirate storytelling, treasure hunts and sand sculpture workshops.

From 2nd July to 5th, Hovertravel will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a 1980s themed weekend. Travellers will be greeted with music, fancy dress and giveaways at the terminals.

Seaside and riverside pubs will be offering live music throughout the fortnight, including: The Spyglass Inn, Ventnor (June 22nd and 29th), The Bargeman’s Rest, Newport (June 24th to 28th and July 2nd to 5th) The Steamer Inn, Shanklin (June 26th to 28th and July 3rd to 5th) and The Buddle Smuggler’s Inn, Niton (June 27th).

Other events include the What Knot Crafts Exhibition in Freshwater (June 26th), the Messing About in Boats art exhibition in Cowes (June 24th to July 5th), St Catherine’s Lighthouse tours (throughout the Festival) and a Pearl Masterclass at Isle of Wight Pearl near Brighstone (throughout the Festival).

The finale on July 4th and 5th will be the ‘All at Sea’ beach festival at Hope Beach in Shanklin, with children’s entertainment, the Cardboard Box Boat Race and the Isle of Wight Birdman Rally – where competitors attempt to glide gracefully into the sea in homemade contraptions.

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David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight said:

“The Isle of Wight’s Festival of the Sea is bigger and better than ever, with everything from the thrilling spectacle of world class yacht racing right through to sword fighting on the beach at Appley. You can take a tour of a lighthouse, hear some live music or join the family-friendly finale in Shanklin. The Isle of Wight’s rich nautical history deserves to be celebrated in style – and this year we’re confident we’ve got something for everybody.”

Visit Isle of Wight is supporting the Festival of the Sea 2015 with a £20,000 advertising campaign in newspapers and on radio stations across the South Coast and in London.

This is the third year running that Visit Isle of Wight has co-ordinated this festival.

You can pick up a copy of the Festival of the Sea guide, including times and locations of all the events at

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