Hundreds of sea craft take to Southampton water

Hundreds of boats take to Southampton Water for the ever Parade of Sail

A SPECTACLE unfolded on Southampton Water as more than 100 yachts, RIBs and motorboats paraded en masse as craft of all types took to the water to take part in a parade of sail, celebrating the first-ever Southampton Sailing Week.

At the front on Saturday was one of the world’s most famous sailors, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, in his boat Suhaili.

Also leading the way was a huge Svitzer tug, shooting plumes of water into the sky, and more than 100 craft.

There were some recognisable vessels in the fleet, including Geoff Holt’s Wetwheels, a specially adapted catamaran to help people with disabilities enjoy sailing and SS Shieldhall.

Chris Rees, organiser, said: “It was the perfect way to celebrate the first ever Southampton Sailing Week and we’re delighted so many people from far and wide brought their boats along to take part.

“The Solent is known as one of the best stretches of water in the UK for sailing and today’s parade of sail helped us to show that to the world.”

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston added: “It was an honour to lead the parade of sail and to see so many people out in their boats. There’s nothing quite like getting out on the water and I hope Southampton Sailing Week will become a regular fixture in the Solent’s sailing calendar.”

The parade of sail marked one of the highlights of Southampton Sailing Week, which so far has included racing on the Solent, free dinghy sailing sessions for local schoolchildren, The Great Coal Row and other chances for people to get out on the water.

Other events included a regatta party at bars and restaurants, Classics on the Quay at Shamrock Quay Marina and Southampton Sailing Club open day.

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