The Princess Royal is a keen sportswoman. She not only enjoys horses, but sailing as well. Next Thursday will find her at the Hampshire Royal Lymington Yacht Club where she will open a new £300,000 pontoon, a project funded solely by the club’s membership.
The Princess has been patron of the club located in Bath Road since 1980. She has made several visits to the premises overlooking the entrance of the Lymington River. In 2009, she visited junior sailors on the occasion of the club’s 25th anniversary.
Speaking of the pontoon, a club spokesman said: “The previous structure was more than 30 years old and beyond economic repair.
He continued to elaborate the benefits of the structure: “Its successor can provide berthing for up to ten yachts, 20 ribs and 75 dinghies, maximizing the waterfront space available for the benefit of members. It incorporates several innovative features including Wi-Fi and security cameras.
“Additional space on the new pontoon has been set aside for use by young people learning to sail with the club’s community youth training programme, Wednesday Junior Sailing.”
The club’s 2,400 membership includes some high-profile names such as Sir Ben Ainslie an Olympian and America’s Cup Challenger; Olympic gold medalist Pippa Wilson, and six-time world match racing champion Ian Williams.
The club was initially formed in the early 1920’s. Major Cyril Potter is credited with wanting to start a yacht club in the area. Many of the early documents were lost in a flood in 1989, but have been digitally restored and are available on the club’s website.
The Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Mr Nigel Atkinson will greet the Princess. Several others will be onhand to receive her including: Cllr Alison Hoare, the chairman of New Forest District Council; the club’s commodore, Dunlop Stewart; and the town Mayor, Cllr Michael White.