The Princess Royal meets junior members, with (left) Michael Geary, Commodore, and Tim Keeping, Rear Commodore

HRH The Princess Royal has attended the centenary celebrations of Emsworth Sailing Club. During the event on 2 May, Her Royal Highness took to the water in glorious sunshine to observe some of the youngest members’ training activities, as well as current British Olympic Sailing team member, Jess Lavery, 24, who began sailing at the Club as a toddler.

The Club is one of the oldest sailing clubs in the country and is well known for its training of successful Olympic sailors. The Princess is President of sailing’s national governing body, the Royal Yachting Association, with which the Club is affiliated, and is a great supporter of young sailors and their development.

Her Royal Highness also has a family connection to the Club as her Great Uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, was Club Commodore from 1931 to 1932 and Admiral of the Club in 1969 and 1979.

Guests at the centenary event included Pippa, Lady Blake, widow of yachting legend, Sir Peter Blake, who lived in Emsworth and was a member of the Club. Lady Pippa is still an Emsworth resident and Club member. Other dignitaries joining in the celebrations included HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, The Mayor of Havant, Alan Mak MP,Cllr Elaine Still, Chairman Hampshire County Council and Sarah Treseder, CEO of the RYA.

After a tour of the Club, Her Royal Highness unveiled a centenary plaque commemorating her visit.

“We are hugely honoured that The Princess Royal attended the celebrations for our 100th anniversary; her visit has marked the highlight of our centenary year,” Michael Geary, Club Commodore, said. “Her encouragement of the next generation of sailors and Olympic hopefuls meant that this was also a day that will live long in the memories of all the children who got the chance to meet her and display their skills out on the water.”

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