Portland gets royal visit

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, visited the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) on June 11th. The Academy provides access to the best small boat sailing waters in the world and is the first venue to be completed for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Royal Party met Bronze Medallist, Chris Draper and Olympic hopefuls in training, including Peter Greenhalgh, Andrea Brewster, Alison Young, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, as well as local people who are learning to sail as part of WPNSA’s programme with the Chesil Trust – which offers subsidised Royal Yachting Association sailing courses many of which are run in conjunction with SailLaser for children and young people who are disabled or at a social disadvantage.

The scheme is just one of the WPNSA’s and SailLaser’s many community involvement initiatives including the opportunity for individuals to ‘Sail for £5’,or for family groups of up to four people to have a sail for £10 and which will be available to the public again on July 11th as part of the ‘Spirit of the Sea’ Festival.

John Tweed, Chief Executive of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, said: “It is an enormous honour for the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy that both Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh have seen firsthand the completed Olympic Delivery Authority works and the Chesil Trust ‘Sail for a Fiver’ programme. We have given The Royal Party a real flavour of how important this facility is for the whole community, not just the competitive sailors”.