Folkestone Trawler Race cancelled for 2024 after attracting 10,000 people to town’s harbour

An annual water festival celebrating a town’s fishing industry has been cancelled following “safety” fears caused by a lack of funding.

Organisers have confirmed Folkestone’s Trawler Race will not go ahead this summer which sees the town’s fishermen take to the sea and race around the harbour.

Folkestone Trawler Race has been cancelled for 2024
Folkestone Trawler Race has been cancelled for 2024

Planned for July 20 and 21, the event draws in crowds of around 10,000 to the town’s quayside with its offerings of cockles and whelks.

The weekend extravaganza aims to support the fishing industry by encouraging everyone to buy fresh fish.

Participants often take part in fancy dress and are judged in categories including winning boat, best-dressed boat and best-dressed crew.

However, organiser Cath Mison has announced this year’s gala will not feature as planned.

She said: “It is with regret and sadness we shall be cancelling the Trawler Race this year due to a lack of funding.

Catwoman waving to crowds at Folkestone's Trawler Race in 2018. Picture: Paul Amos
Catwoman waving to crowds at Folkestone's Trawler Race in 2018. Picture: Paul Amos
Crowds would have watched from the quayside in Folkestone. Picture: Paul Amos
Crowds would have watched from the quayside in Folkestone. Picture: Paul Amos

“We have made the decision to save what funds we have already and apply to other funding avenues so we can put on a spectacular event for the Trawler Race's 50th Anniversary in 2025.

“It has been a difficult decision, but we can not deliver this year's event effectively and safely.

“We hope you understand our situation and you will continue to support this event highlighting our fishing heritage and supporting our fishermen.

“We look forward to next year and will be releasing a date for you all shortly to put in your diaries.

“Apologies for any inconvenience caused to all those involved and to you the members of the public who continue to support us year after year.”

Folkestone Trawler Race will not take to the water this year. Picture: Paul Amos
Folkestone Trawler Race will not take to the water this year. Picture: Paul Amos

The trawler race would have kicked off with its traditional battle of flour fight at 11am, before reaching its climax on Sunday afternoon.

A fish pie competition was also on the cards, as well as a paddleboard and home-made raft race.

Residents looking forward to the event commented on the announcement on Facebook to share their disappointment at the decision.

Debbie Lawrence wrote: “So disappointed, but these things happen. Will look forward to the big celebration next year.”

Fi Woof posted: “Sad news but a good call. Well done for making a difficult decision.”

Meanwhile, Christine Mortimer said: “That’s so sad and upsetting for you the organisers. Let’s hope next year will be spectacular.”

Share this story

COMPETITION

Win a football coaching session at Ballerz in Bluewater with former England star Rio Ferdinand


Helpful links

Local news