The RYA Sailability Sunsail Regatta 2011 was heralded a success by all at the official prize giving ceremony held in Portsmouth Harbour Yacht Club yesterday (20 September 2011), which was attended by HRH The Princess Royal.
Held on the Solent, the event saw 55 sailors from all sailing backgrounds and abilities take to the water in six teams, for two days of racing on Sunsail’s new F40 Racing fleet, whilst raising money for RYA Sailability.
The sailors competed in three races, enjoying the Solent’s typical sea breeze and were also treated to a three course dinner, at the historic and exclusive Royal Yacht Squadron.
'We had two fantastic days' said James Hester, who was competing for the Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance team. 'Our sailing continued to get better as the regatta progressed and we were delighted to be able to support such a worthy cause.'
Each team was personally congratulated for competing in the regatta by HRH The Princess Royal who spoke to all of the sailors about their past two days of racing. She also thanked Sunsail for providing the opportunity to create even more opportunities for disabled people to go sailing, and praised Sailability for its work enabling people from all walks of life to be introduced to the sport.
Finally the moment arrived for RYA Sailability Trust Chairman, Pat Dodd to announce the winning team which was HPM Investments who won all three races in the regatta. The Sunsail team finished in second place and the Hughes family team came a close third.
HRH presented the winning team with the RYA Sailability Sunsail Regatta trophy (sponsored by the BMF). Sailors from each team received a dry bag, t-shirt and baseball cap courtesy of sponsorship by Harken UK.
Jamie Clifford one of the crew on the winning boat, said: 'The competition was tough so we are delighted to have won. We have had a great time enjoying perfect racing conditions and great wind and it was fantastic to be given the opportunity to meet HRH. I am looking forward to competing in next year’s event'.
Pat Dodd added: 'We are delighted with the success of the event and are grateful to our partners Sunsail and The Royal Yacht Squadron. We look forward to repeating this level of success next year'.
The Sailability Trust are very grateful for the continued support from HRH The Princess Royal and from the teams who competed in the regatta this year, who made the event possible.
All proceeds from the event will go to RYA Sailability, the charity which supports sailing opportunities, and provides sailing advice for people with disability. RYA website