Wetwheels Jersey travelled to the UK to take part in a spectacular showcase of more than 400 boats in Cowes Harbour (Isle of Wight) before HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Wetwheels Jersey joined other Wetwheels boats led by the charity’s founder Geoff Holt, on the original Wetwheels, on the Solent with Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence on board.
The Royal couple received a warm welcome from the assembled flotilla, in recognition of the support the Royal Family has given to the Solent’s water-based events over the last 70 years.
The event, on 6th August, 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.
Before heading out on the water, the Princess took time to chat to the crews on board the Wetwheels fleet, including the Jersey boat (shown in the main picture).
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.”
Dina Rogan, Operations Director of Wetwheels Jersey, who was on board with skipper Richard Hollick, said: “It was an absolute honour to be able to take part in this memorable event with other boats from the Wetwheels family. Jersey was the second place in the UK to have a Wetwheels vessel, and although we are a Jersey registered charity, we benefit from our association with the Wetwheels Foundation, so this was an opportunity for us to say thank you for the support we receive.”
Wetwheels Jersey is now safely back in the Island and is continuing her summer programme of taking disabled and disadvantaged Islanders who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity, out to sea. While Wetwheels Jersey is part of the Wetwheels Foundation, the charity operates exclusively with local volunteers and all the funds it raises to cover operating costs remain in the Island.