Pressure kept up by marine lobbyists

MPs and Peers from all political parties, including several shadow ministers and senior officials, dropped by to chat with staff from the RYA and BMF at a joint reception held at the Houses of Parliament.

The event, sponsored by Richard Ottaway MP, gave MPs and Peers the opportunity to meet with the two organisations and discuss issues effecting the boating community and industry from the Marine and Coastal Access Bill; including marine conservation zones, coastal paths and maintenance dredging, to E-borders, alcohol limits and Inland Waterways.

RYA Legal and Government Affairs Manager Gus Lewis said: “The reception was an important event for us as it gave us the opportunity to meet face to face with key policy makers, and represent the interests of recreational boaters.

“We are constantly in discussion with Government departments on varying issues and it is therefore important that we maintain and expand the profile of the two organisations in Parliament.”

After a few words from the events host, Mr Ottaway, a keen sailor himself, the floor was handed over to Andrew Simpson MBE, gold medallist in the Star class at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Andrew gave an entertaining insight in to his career path in sailing from free sailing sessions down at Datchet Water, to his hopes and aspirations for 2012. He was also handed round his Olympic gold medal for inspection.

“It will be fantastic to have the Olympics in this country, and obviously the wish would be for sailing to medal in all classes. This maybe near impossible, but is the dream”, said Andrew.