RYA Passage to Portland

Participants on the RYA’s Sail for Gold ‘Passage to Portland’ enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining, informative and fun jubilee weekend down in Weymouth and Portland, taking in tours of the Olympic and Paralympic venue, meeting the Team GB sailors and making the most of the jubilee festivities.

View the video from the weekend at http://youtu.be/1EQvcqS0u30

Some 30 boats and 100 visitors made the journey to Portland Marina over the long bank holiday weekend (02 – 05 June) for the event where they enjoyed a packed agenda that included parties, tours and talks, as well as taking in the action on out the water for day one of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta.

The weekend started with a truly delicious indoor BBQ (due to the good British weather) where participants had the chance to catch up with old friends and start making new ones.  Then on Saturday the guests got to enjoy a very informative and insightful tour of the Olympic sailing venue, with talks along the way from WPNSA’s John Tweed and the RYA’s Technical Manager Bas Edmonds.

From the tour there was an opportunity to enjoy the live broadcast of the Thames Jubilee Pageant, before what was for many the highlight of the weekend, the Street Party themed Jubilee party held in the grounds of magnificent Portland Castle.  As well as being greeted with a dazzling display of red, white and blue bunting and balloons participants had a unique opportunity to mingle and chat with not one, not two but the whole of the Olympic and Paralympic team and all the members of Skandia Team GBR.  This was a real opportunity to ask all those questions they’d all been dying to ask.

“The effort everyone has put in to their red, white and blue jubilee outfits has been amazing” commented Celia Edgington, Sail for Gold coordinator and event organiser.  “The party was just great fun, Dee Caffari did an amazing job as our host for the evening and I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

With possibly a few sore heads the next morning, there was the opportunity to get out on the water to view some of the day’s racing on the first day of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta, with commentary from none other than double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton.

To round off the weekend there was a final delicious hog roast where Skandia Sail for Gold event coordinator Tim Hall, who gave a very insightful talk about the regatta, how it works, competitors and his thoughts on the up-coming Games.

What the participants said:

“I really enjoyed the tour of the committee boat on the 49er course”

“The tour of the Olympic venue was fantastic and mixing with the Olympic sailors was a highlight for me”

“Having the opportunity to go out on the Boat Project’s ‘Collective Spirit’ was simply amazing”

“I’ve been impressed with the whole event, the organisation and everyone at the RYA. A big thank you”

Check out all the photos from the event on the RYA Facebook page www.facebook.com/rya

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