Having picked this up off twitter somewhere last week myself and my lad and his mate walked to the end of Southend Pier to watch Ocean Class powerboats pass by as part of the Venture Offshore Cup powerboat race Prologue. I’ve not been down our pier for years so it was a good opportunity to have a nosey at the new pierhead train station and the new Cultural Centre.
Timings for the powerboats wasn’t all that clear – anything from 10am until 12 noon – so we got there at 9.30am after walking down the pier (we would get the train back). I was impressed with the Cultural Centre from when I first saw it. A great looking building inside and out and one that sits appropriately at the end of the pier. I blogged about the building being lifted onto the pier at the time. We had sausages in rolls and tea and hot chocolate in the cafe – which was excellent. As an aside, the ICE East of England AGM in October is likely to be held in the Cultural Centre which will be great.
It seemed that the powerboats were not coming anytime soon so the boys wandered off to amuse themselves and I got talking to a chap looking out for the boats through his binnocies. It turned out to be Southend Councillor Derek Jarvis and we had a decent chat about various Southend and construction related topics. A jolly nice chap actually. I promised to email him – which I will do.
Around 11am boats were seen on the horizon but it turned out to be a number of motor cruisers that had probably been at the start down by Tower Bridge. There was some excitement when a strange tug type craft approached and then moored up against the pier but it wasn’t until noon or so that a line of powerboats were seen approaching. Apparently they had spent a fair while re-grouping off Canvey and maybe their sail-by had been choreographed for noon.
The powerboats approached at low speed, passed the end of the pier at some distance and then departed at high speed. Blink and you’d miss it. It was a tad disappointing that they didn’t hang around and show off – Cllr Jarvis was under the impression they would do so – but alas they didn’t. Southend Council were not involved with the event at all and were effectively just onlookers and so cannot be blamed for that.
It was fun though and worth going to see. Not something you see every day.
I took a few pics beforehand, snatched a few in the few seconds as they passed nearby and one or two after and have uploaded them to a google+ album that you can find here. A selection are also included below.