Sailing stars join Gosport’s Marine Festival line-up

Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith
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SIR Ben Ainslie will be one of many world-class sailors taking part in next year’s Gosport Marine Festival, it has been announced.

It is a free community event, showcasing the wealth of on-water opportunities available on the Gosport peninsula and allowing people of all ages to have a go at a host of these activities.

Sea Scouts and young people from Gosport get ready for the 2015 Gosport Marine Festival at Haslar Marina. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143521-3)

Sea Scouts and young people from Gosport get ready for the 2015 Gosport Marine Festival at Haslar Marina. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143521-3)

The focus will be on the young people, highlighting the learning and career opportunities within the marine industry in Gosport.

Ben Ainslie Racing and Team Origin, who are bidding to bring back the America’s Cup to the Solent, along with renowned British solo sailor Gosport’s Alex Thomson will all be taking part.

The action takes place on June 13 at Gosport’s Waterfront Millennium Promenade, Timespace and Haslar Marina.

It follows the huge success of last year’s inaugural watersports festival.

13/12/14  ''Sea Scouts and young people from Gosport get ready for the 2015 Gosport Marine Festival at Haslar Marina. (left to right), Charlie Pearce, Jake Salmon, Isla Hadley, Molly Salmon, and Georgia Bottriell.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143521-1) PPP-141213-183621003

13/12/14 ''Sea Scouts and young people from Gosport get ready for the 2015 Gosport Marine Festival at Haslar Marina. (left to right), Charlie Pearce, Jake Salmon, Isla Hadley, Molly Salmon, and Georgia Bottriell.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143521-1) PPP-141213-183621003

More than 1,000 spaces will be available in the GoWaterSport Festival to be held next June, in Gosport Marina.

At least half of the places will be free of charge for community groups working with young people while a small donation will be asked for the others.

Boats, safety equipment and qualified instructors provided by Gosport Sea Cadets and Lee on Solent Sailing Club.

Tony Salmon, Gosport Sea Cadets commanding officer, said: ‘This is going to be a fantastic event to give young people access to the water sports available in the town.

‘We’ll have dinghies, kayaks and rowing boats, plus a couple of bigger boats from the Rona Sailing Trust and Ocean Youth Trust South for people to have a go on.

‘You never know, we might find a future Olympic gold medallist or round the world sailor.’

The festival is organised by Gosport Marine Scene CIC, a not for profit organisation which promotes Gosport as a centre of marine excellence.

Councillor John Beavis is leading the organising committee. He said, ‘There are exciting career, sport and leisure opportunities springing up around the 24 miles of coastline on the Gosport peninsula and by putting the young people at the heart of this event.

‘We hope to be able to encourage them to help make Gosport a thriving town we can all be proud of.’

Go to gosportmarinefestival.org.uk.