H.R.H The Princess Royal opens the new pontoons at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club

A Royal Visit to Lymington, on HM The Queen's 90th Birthday

The Patron of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, HRH The Princess Royal officially opened the Club’s new pontoon complex on Thursday 21st April 2016. 

HRH5The Queen's 90th Birthday became a very special treat for young Lymington sailors given time out of school to meet Princess Anne, who for long has especially supported and encouraged youth sailing.


Accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, the Chairman of the NFDC Councillor Alison Hoare and the Mayor of Lymington, Club Member Councillor Michael White, HRH The Princess Royal was welcomed to Royal Lymington Yacht Club by the Commodore Dunlop Stewart. 


HRH2“HRH The Princess Royal has been our patron for 36 years and thoroughly enjoys sailing, especially on the West coast of Scotland where she and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence keep their Rustler 44, Ballochbuie," said Clive Sparrow, Vice Commodore, Royal Lymington Yacht Club. "She is very supportive of the Club and its activities - in particular to promote youth sailing amongst the local community. Known to be a good sailor our Patron has enjoyed several opportunity to race on the Solent onboard a Club members’ boat.”



The new pontoons have been built to the highest specification and include many innovative features including high-pressure hose facility, Wifi, and security cameras, which can be accessed by any approaching vessel to check space availability via a mobile phone app. The new pontoons represent a significant investment, wholly funded by the Club and its Members. The redesigned layout enables the Club to maximise the use of the waterfront available for the benefit of all Club Members, yacht and dinghy racing, training, junior sailing, cruising and visiting yachtsmen.

“The new pontoons were built by Walcon Marine in three months at a cost of £0.3m which has been funded wholly by the Club and its members," said Clive Sparrow, Vice Commodore, Royal Lymington Yacht Club. "The previous structure was over 30 years old and beyond economic repair.  The modern redesign, which is some 1,500 sq. m., is able to provide berthing for up to 10 yachts, 20 ribs and 75 dinghies.  



We have been able to maximise the waterfront space available which benefits not only our 2,400 Club members but offers more berthing space to visiting yachtsmen throughout the racing and cruising season. We have also set aside additional space on the new pontoon for local young people learning to sail with the Club’s community youth training programme, Wednesday Junior Sailing. "


To celebrate the occasion there was a sail past of boats representing all areas from cruising and racing to the Club’s workboats. The Princess Royal toured the pontoons and met with many of the Club’s sailors as well as local junior sailors representing Wednesday Junior Sailing, which has been training children from local schools for over 30 years, and is supported by the Club. After talking with some of the many Members present Her Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque.



Dinghy sailor and RLymYC member George Richards (aged 15) was selected to present a posy to HRH Princess Royal. “I’ve been sailing since I was seven and have been a member of the RLymYC for the last couple of years. I love being able to sail my Feva on the Solent and I am quite competitive. I was a bit nervous in the run up to actually presenting the posy to Princess Anne but because she is a sailor and has been the Club’s Patron for 36 years she knows a lot of members and was very relaxed. She gave me a big smile and said thank you when I handed over the flowers."


Recently selected to represent Great Britain in the 2016 Ladies 420 World Championships and U17 Junior Europeans Vita Heathcote (aged 14) and Milly Boyle  (aged 15) were amongst a group of high achieving local young sailors who met HRH Princess Royal at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club on the Queens’s 90th birthday.  Said Vita:  “ Milly and I have both benefited from the Club’s training and facilities. The new larger pontoon which Princes Anne opened today creates a 100-m² platform for the dinghies used in the Club’s Wednesday Junior Sailing community programme.”


HRH9The Wednesday Junior Sailing programme is widely acknowledged as a UK flagship community sailing scheme and has introduced thousands of local children to the joy of sailing.

“It’s a real honour to be here meeting HRH The Princess Royal, particularly as it is the Queen’s birthday," shared RLymYC dinghy sailor, Freya Baddeley (aged 12), who was one of the 2015 Youth Week trophy winners at the event. "It’s great that she enjoys her sailing, just like so many people who live in Lymington and the New Forest. The new pontoon looks far easier to use than the previous one. I know that we will all make good use of it in the years to come!”


"This year will be my fourth year taking part in Youth Week, when 150 youth sailors compete for five days on the Solent. Its great fun!" said Isabel Roche (aged 12). "My Mum and aunt used to sail in Youth Week and my Granny has been helping with Wednesday Junior Sailing for years - even my Great Grandparents sailed here - so it’s a bit of a tradition."



The Royal Lymington Yacht Club is one of the largest clubs in the UK with a membership of 2,400 that includes many high profile sailors including America’s Cup Challenger and Olympic medallist Sir Ben Ainslie, six times world match racing champion Ian Williams and Olympic gold medallist Pippa Wilson. 


The Club runs over 200 days of organised sailing events each year across a wide spectrum of activities. The Club’s keelboat sailors compete at national level and are regular prize winners at Cowes Week and in the Round the Island Race. An extremely active and adventurous Cruising Division results in the RLymYC burgee flown around the world by members cruising overseas. Many junior and youth sailors enjoy high quality coaching and training in nationally and internationally successful fleets of Optimists, 29ers, Teras, Lasers and 420s. The Club sets an exceptional standard of performance and development for young sailors within the sailing world and, many of its juniors are selected for RYA squads racing in World and European championships. 











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