HRH The Princess Royal made a special visit to Draycote Water Sailing Club to help the club celebrate its 50th Anniversary. In her capacity as President of sailing’s national body, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), Princess Anne was welcomed to the club, along with RYA Chief Executive, Sarah Treseder, by Commodore, Jeremy Atkins.
Officers and members of the club were also joined by a number of local dignitaries including the Mayor of Rugby, Bill Lewis; Chair of Warwickshire County Council, Nicola Davies; the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Timothy Cox and the High Sheriff of Warwickshire, Simon Miesegaes.
Despite the wet and windy conditions, Her Royal Highness was keen to go on the water to watch the different groups out sailing. Going on the club’s Committee Boat, she watched youngsters on a Topper race training course practising their racing starts (“Most of you were over the line,” she observed to them afterwards!); the club’s Youth & Junior group doing some short course racing; and an RYA beginners course with 20 youngsters out on the water on only their second ever day of sailing.
In addition, some of the Ancient Mariners, a group of retired sailors who meet weekly, braved the conditions to show what they could do.
Afterwards, HRH spoke individually to all those who had been out sailing, giving out certificates to the Youth & Junior group. She also spoke with participants in the Women on Water group who meet each week for social sailing. Everyone remarked how interested she was in their experience and in finding out how they had come into sailing and how long they had been sailing for.
She was given a tour of the club and formally opened the Sport England-funded Training Room and improved changing facilities.
At the end of her visit, The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit on the occasion of the club’s golden anniversary. In a short speech, she said she was impressed by how the club had made such a success of developing sailing at Draycote Water and evolved such a high standard of facilities as a welcome for members and visitors alike.
Draycote Water Sailing Club is situated in the Severn Trent Country Park between Rugby and Southam and is open with safety boat cover every day of the year except Christmas Day. Three and 5-day training beginners courses for youngsters run every week of the summer holidays.
The Club provides a range of training courses for juniors and adults accredited by the RYA, sailing’s national governing body, to take participants from beginners up to racing in performance dinghies. It is also a specialist centre for the windsurfing training. To book courses, contact 01788 814418.