Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has delivered a huge boost to Derbyshire sailors during a recent visit to the area.
Princess Anne was at Carsington Sailing Club and Carsington Sailability on April 25 to officially launch a new state-of-the-art keelboat ‘The Jolly Roger’.
With the reservoir packed with sailors and windsurfers determined to show off Carsington’s assets at their best, Her Royal Highness, president of sailing’s national governing body the RYA, undertook official naming duties on Carsington Sailability’s Bakewell and Wirksworth Rotary clubs-funded new RS Venture, which can be adapted to suit sailors of all abilities.
Carsington Sailability is part of the national RYA Sailability programme that supports disabled people in learning to sail and sailing regularly, and ‘The Jolly Roger’ is set to have a big impact on getting even more people across the whole spectrum of abilities afloat.
Mike Stoker, Secretary of Carsington Sailability, said: “We are very fortunate to be supported by our local Rotary groups who provided funds for ‘Jolly Roger’.
“She was named after the late Roger Mercer, a former Bakewell Rotary Club treasurer. Jolly Roger is a performance boat, which brings a new dimension and excitement to the opportunities we can offer.”
As well as meeting sailors and volunteers from Carsington Sailability, Her Royal Highness was introduced to representatives from Derby and Nottingham Hospitals, the scouts, Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme students and Carsington’s youth sailors.
Pupils from Hulland Primary School in Ashbourne enacted rescue scenarios as part of an ‘around the water’ safety course.
Stephen Blake, Carsington Sailability Commodore, added: “The visit enabled the numerous diverse groups from the club to meet Her Royal Highness and illustrate the impact sailing has had upon their lives. The visit exemplified the fully inclusive approach that is evident throughout Carsington SC.”
Among the VIPs welcoming Her Royal Highness to Carsington included The High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Elizabeth Fothergill, CBE, DL and Richard Fothergill, Chair of Derbyshire County Council, Cllr Steve Freeborn, Chairman of the District of Derbyshire Dales, Cllr Albert Catt and Judy Catt.
A framed photograph commemorating the lifelong contribution of Carsington Sailability member Royd Alderson was presented by Her Royal Highness, while a watercolour hand-painted by Mike Stoker was given in gratitude to Her Royal Highness, who also received a posy from 11-year-old Rosie Blake from Hulland Primary School.