Solent Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The Solent’s sailing and yachting community came together to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Cowes on Saturday 6th August, attended by HRH The Princess Royal.

The spectacular showcase of more than 400 boats moored in Cowes harbour gave a warm welcome to the Princess and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, in recognition of the support the Royal Family has given to the Solent’s water-based events over the last 70 years.

The event featured a motorpast review of all the boats by the Princess, who led the way in the first of five Wetwheels’ powerboats carrying VIP guests from the Solent’s sailing community. The Princess is Patron of the Wetwheels charity, which provides barrier-free boating opportunities to disabled people. 

HRH The Princess Royal then performed a Fleet Review from the deck of the Royal Navy’s HMW SEVERN Offshore Patrol Vessel. Among the fleet was an impressive line-up of historic ships, including four Dunkirk Little Ships - Tahilla, Papillon, Maimonide and Naiad Errant; two historic yachts – Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV and Suhaili – with owner Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on board. 

In addition, there were two sail training vessels - Scaramouche and Challenger 72 – 22m and Bluebottle, a wedding gift to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh from the Island Sailing Club. This review was accompanied by a thrilling air display by a ‘City of Exeter’ Spitfire, courtesy of the Spitfire Academy at Goodwood. Music and entertainment followed at a free concert held at Cowes Yacht Haven.

Chair of the organising committee, Jonathan Nainby-Luxmoore, said: “The Solent Platinum Jubilee Celebration was a truly memorable day and it was a real privilege to have HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence taking the salute at the motorpast from the guardship HMS SEVERN. 
“The Solent was ablaze with bunting and flags and the weather was perfect. We could not have asked for a better day for our tribute to the Queen for her Platinum Jubilee.

“Thank you to everyone who took part, ashore and afloat, to Wetwheels for leading the motorpast, and the army of people who made it all happen. A true coming together of all the clubs and classes whose sailing home is the Solent.”

Hampshire yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE, Founder of Wetwheels and a member of the organising committee, said: "We are absolutely delighted that the Solent Platinum Jubilee Celebration was such a success.

“It was our pleasure to carry HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence on board a Wetwheels vessel for the motorpast. They were given a rousing welcome on and off the water by sailors and visitors alike.

“The Royal Family gives wonderful support to the sailing community and charities in the Solent and we continue to be grateful for the Princess’s patronage.”

Wetwheels was the chosen charity for the event. Find out more on the Solent Platinum Jubilee Facebook page Image c/o Ben Wood, Island Images.