The Princess Royal is set to revisit the Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club next month to open new facilities in her role as President of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
Anne, who originally opened the club on April 1st 1998, will meet with the club’s Commodore, Barry Hughes, Chairman of the RYA region, Steve Gibbon, local councillors and members of the Yacht Club Cadet Section on September 23rd. She will launch a new Sailibility pontoon allowing sailors with restricted mobility, including those in wheelchairs, easier access to the boats.
The Princess will then go on to officially open the new £100,000 training facilities and safety boat storage which were completed earlier in the year, again in conjunction with Sport England funding and the Inspired Facilities Fund. The pontoon has been funded through grants received by the club and through partnership with Sport England and Hartlepool Borough Council.
The Royal Yachting Association, which dates back to 1875 when it was known as the Yacht Racing Association, is the national body for all forms of boating, from yacht and dinghy racing, to inland cruising and narrow boats. The Association administers the rules of sailing (including windsurfing) in the UK and manages schemes to promote boating to key new audiences,particularly young people.
In addition, the Association offers internationally renowned and recognised training in the sport, and is a leading maritime publisher with over 80 book, DVD and multimedia titles, including RYA Magazine which has the highest circulation of all UK boating magazines.
Speaking to the RYA Magazine editor, Deb Cornick, in 2012, Princess Anne spoke about her involvement with boating, including how she first became seriously involved with the sport after her father, The Duke of Edinburgh, purchased the racing yacht, Bloodhound.
On the Association’s Sailibility aspect in particular, Princess Anne said:
“Sailibility raises awareness that it’s across all abilities that sailing can make an impact and people can really enjoy themselves on that outing. You could argue the success of our teams rather shows how successful we’ve been at generating enthusiasm from the youngest upwards and maintaining it and having the structure so people can go on learning and enjoying what they want to do, at whatever level they want to.”
The full interview can be found in the August 2012 issue of the RYA Magazine.
The Princess Royal has been President of the Association since 1997; the club’s President is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting.