NEARLY 200 people took to the water at Welshpool Food and Drink Festival with many taking part in the coracle relay race

Organisers say that the water-based activities were a great success, with nearly 200, 113 of them under 25 years old, taking part in canoeing, angling and the coracle relay race.

The coracle racers were cheered on by a sizable crowd, clustering along the wharf, towpath, bridges and embankments.

Sylvia Edwards, Montgomery Canal community development officer at the Canal and River Trust, said: “We were delighted to see so many people take part in the free water-based activities which were well-received by the local community and visitors alike, who had much fun and great memories to take away.

“I would also like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers, not forgetting the funding as part of the restoration of the Montgomery Canal which supported the activities.”

Taking part inthe coracle relay was Montgomeryshire MP, Glyn Davies.

Mr Davies MP, said: “It was a bit of an adventure to clamber into a coracle for the first time and row out into deep water.

“I had to concentrate on staying afloat and not taking an unscheduled dip. I think others were amused as I focused on the necessary technique to steer it.

“It was all rather good fun,” .

Mr Davies MP added: “The serious point is that the canal was being used to boost tourism in Montgomeryshire.

“Welshpool Wharf is central to development of the Montgomery Canal.”

Mayor of Welshpool, Cllr Steve Kaye, said: “It’s going to grow and grow as a festival for years to come.

“It’s a fantastic image of Welshpool.”