Up the Thames
The crews, from RYA Training centres that use the tidal Thames, took advantage of a test closure of the Thames Barrier on the river at Greenwich after the Port of London Authority granted special permission for the racing to take place.
In the unusually still tidal Thames waters the dinghies raced up-river from Greenwich Yacht Club to the O2 (Dome) and back, once in the morning and again in the afternoon, presenting an inspiring sight for spectators on the Thames Path.
The wind refused to come out and play in the morning which really tested the sailors’ light-airs sailing skills. However, in the afternoon, a lovely summer breeze came up and the sailors (many of whom had never sailed on “open” water before) were lucky enough to experience one of those rare perfect sailing afternoons.
The regatta is a partnership between the RYA, RYA Sailability, Greenwich Yacht Club and the London Nautical School.
Guy Malpas, RYA Regional Development Officer for London and Thames Valley said: “This is a unique event in London, offering the opportunity for disabled and able-bodied sailors to compete together on equal terms.
“The regatta is proving to be a popular event in the London sailing calendar and everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed their day.”
Trophies were generously donated by AEG/The O2, HSBC, and Greenwich Yacht Club, and were presented by The Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Sajid Jawaid. Laser kindly provided self-adhesive sail numbers for the entire fleet.
Specialist equipment, such as hoists and pontoon, were provided by SS Marine and over fifty members of Greenwich Yacht Club gave up their weekend to offer practical assistance to the sailors.