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Princess Royal attends 50th Anniversary of Hornet Services Sailing Club

by Arty Shaw 9 Jun 2014 06:20 PDT 2 June 2014

HRH The Princess Royal has attended the 50th anniversary reception of the Hornet Services Sailing Club and hailed the start of the Services Offshore Regatta in Gosport.

The Princess Royal, as Patron of Hornet Services Sailing Club, attended a special reception at the club to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1964 as a Naval Sailing Centre, the club recently expanded its role to embrace all three Armed Services and is now called Hornet Services Sailing Club.

HRH The Princess Royal agreed to become the club's patron in July 2013 in recognition of its new role and this was her first opportunity to visit. The Princess Royal was delighted that the Club is due to be granted a new 50 year lease; she unveiled a commemorative plaque and announced the exceptional granting of a Warrant for the club to use the Blue Ensign.

She also took the opportunity to meet 100 Servicemen and women, ex-Service personnel and members of the club's staff as well as a number of the Service crews taking part in the annual Services Offshore Regatta, with the start of the race hosted by Hornet Services Sailing Club.

The Club Commodore, Peter Melson, commented that the visited had been a great success and he was delighted that the Club's position at the centre of Armed Services sailing had been confirmed by the visit of Her Royal Highness, with the exceptional granting of a warrant to use the undefaced Blue Ensign, and the confirmation of a new lease of up to 50 years for the Club

The Regatta sees the top offshore sailors in each of the Armed Services test their skills in a series of races.

Sub-Lieutenant James Shrives (23) is the youngest Royal Navy sailor on the Royal Navy's racing yacht Jolly Jack Tar. His role is the main trimmer while at sea. He said: "I feel immensely proud to be selected to represent the Royal Navy and I am the 3rd generation to participate in this event as both my father and grandfather have won Tri-Service sailing events."

Meeting The Princess Royal was one of the highlights of his career: "I feel so honoured to have met The Princess Royal and she wished me the very best of luck with my first time sailing across the channel."

This year's event coincides with commemoration of the Normandy Landings 70th Anniversary and includes races to and from Normandy.

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