LEGENDARY yachtsman and founder of the global Clipper race Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has spoken of his delight after his firm won praise from high office.
Prime Minister David Cameron said Clipper Ventures, based in Royal Clarence Marina, Gosport, pays a ‘fantastic contribution’ to the economy.
It comes after Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage asked Mr Cameron to visit the town.
Sir Robin told The News: ‘It’s nice for the team to feel that their huge effort is being recognised.
‘They do work hard, they’re a great bunch of people – friends, really, not employees.
‘This is a compliment for them as well.’
He added Gosport was an ideal place for the race headquarters to be based.
During Prime Ministers Questions in the Commons yesterday, Ms Dinenage said the firm’s race was to bring £50m to the country.
‘The UK economy is due to benefit £50m by hosting the epic Clipper Round the World Yacht Race,’ she said.
‘Will the Prime Minister come to Gosport to see for himself one of the UK’s top marine and sailing hubs and personally congratulate Clipper Ventures, who are literally flying the flag for Britain’s tourism, trade and water sports?’
Mr Cameron praised Clipper Ventures and said he would take the invitation into account.
He said: ‘My honourable friend is absolutely right.
‘I join her in welcoming the fantastic contribution that Clipper Ventures makes to the British economy.
‘It was great to see the race leaving London for the first time and even better to see the flotilla was led by a British boat.’
‘I will certainly take into account her kind invitation to come to Gosport but I wish Sir Robin Knox-Johnston well and all those taking part.’
Ms Dinenage added she wants to show off Gosport’s marine and sailing industries and their importance to the country’s economy.
The MP helped establish the Gosport Marine Scene group and is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group.