London to Portland Small Ships Race prizegiving to be celebrated at the WPNSA
On Friday the 15th June, a fleet of up to twenty Sail Training vessels crewed by 200 young people will arrive in Portland from East London as part of the London to Portland Small Ships Race. Their arrival is only the start of an exciting weekend, which includes a visit from Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex to the moored boats at Portland Marina on the 15th June, and racing close to Nothe Fort and Weymouth Beach, as well as a visit and prize giving at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) on Saturday the 16th June.
The London to Portland Small Ships Race gives young people between the ages of 12 and 25 an opportunity to work as a team to tackle the challenges that the everyday operation of a large Sail Training vessel entails, including sailing, cooking and keeping a lookout. The fleet will be comprised of up to twenty small ships, which are up to ninety feet long, and will include the Gipsy Moth IV, Pegasus and Pelican of London.
John Tweed, Chief Executive, The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy commented:
“June is already a hugely busy month at the WPNSA and we are lucky to have such a diverse mix of sailors at our venue. The London to Portland Small Ships Race is a fantastic way to connect the 2012 sailing venue to London itself this summer. We feel this race is particularly important for us as it provides a wonderful opportunity for a range of young people to experience the delights of sailing aboard boats that are more traditional in origin and take on an important role within the crew”.
After they complete their voyage from London, the boats will race on Saturday in Weymouth Bay. The race will be started by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers, at 1100 by firing cannons from the ramparts of Nothe Fort. The event is sure to be a spectacle, and the public is encouraged to come out and watch these extraordinary vessels race around Weymouth Bay. The race is expected to last around four hours, and some ideal viewing areas for the public are from the Nothe Gardens and Weymouth Beach. For more information, and to download the race guide which can be used to identify the participating vessels, visit www.uksailtraining.org/smallshipsrace.