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Passage to Portland - A weekend of celebrations

by Emma Slater on 27 Jan 2012
Passage to Portland 2012 RYA http://www.rya.org.uk
Passage to Portland, being held from 2nd to 5th June 2012, provides an exclusive opportunity to tour the Olympic and Paralympic sailing venue ahead of the Games. If you’re looking for something special to do to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or just fancy doing something a bit different this year then why not sign up for the event.

The RYA will be celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the forthcoming London 2012 sailing events over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, with a whole host of activities and events.

The weekend’s celebrations centre around a British Street Party themed event at Portland Castle following a TV screening of the Thames Jubilee Pageant earlier in the day.

This unique event provides participants with the opportunity to tour the Olympic and Paralympic sailing venue, a behind-the-scenes look at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta and hear all about the British Sailing Teams’ preparations for London 2012.

There will also be the opportunity to get out on the water and watch the sailors racing in the regatta with commentary from double Olympic gold medallist, Sarah Ayton.

Aimed at Sail and Motor cruisers, participants will make their own way, by boat, to Portland, where we have pre-booked berths for them for three nights at Portland Marina, from where they can enjoy the activities of the long weekend.

'Places are filling fast, so now really is the time to book if you don’t want to miss-out on the opportunity to celebrate two big events of the year with us', explained Passage to Portland coordinator Celia Edgington.

Passage to Portland isn’t just for boaters from neighbouring ports, it’s open to everyone. There are already a number of boats coming from the West Country and the East Coast, so why not make the most of the double bank holiday and integrate Passage to Portland into your summer cruise like Andy Beharrell.

On board his Sadler Starlight 39 ‘Charmary’, Andy Beharrell and his five strong crew will be making the most of Passage to Portland when they sail down as part of their summer cruise. We asked him a few questions about why he’s coming to the event:

How long will it take to get to Portland from your home marina?
My home port is Tollesbury on the East Coast so I anticipate it will take around 4-5 days but I’m allowing about 10 days for the weather and to hopefully have a chance to cruise around the Solent a little on the way.

I am using the event as a good excuse to start taking the boat round Britain, so from Portland I plan to carry on heading west and will winter the boat either in the West Country or hopefully quite a bit further north. In 2013 I then hope to complete the trip round Britain through the Caledonian Canal.

Why did you decide to come along to Passage to Portland?
I am a keen dinghy sailor (as are all my crew) and also sail a GP14 so have followed dinghy racing a lot over the years. I have always raced a lot as well as cruised and so will be following the Olympics closely. The opportunity to see the Olympic venue and watch some racing (albeit not the Olympics itself) was one that was too good to miss. And of course as my excuse to start my round Britain trip.

What are you most looking forward to?
Watching the racing and touring the Olympic venue.

For more information about what’s on and how you can book your place for the weekend click RYA website
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