Gosport legend Alex Thomson to open marine festival

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A STAR sailor is set to officially open a town’s marine festival on Saturday.

Gosport hero Alex Thomson will perform the opening of Gosport Marine Festival in Haslar Marina with thousands expected to descend on the town this weekend.

Alex – who came second in the round-the-world Vendee Globe race –was recently made a Freeman of the Borough of Gosport.

He said: ‘I’m delighted to be opening the festival. I learned competitive sailing here and Gosport is the incubator for many of our finest ocean racers, men and women.

‘With the Solent and English Channel on our doorstep, we are perfectly-placed. If you want to learn to sail for fun or climb the ladder to world-class sailing, Gosport is the place.’

The festival gets underway at 9.30am with the parade of sea cadets from Gosport Town Hall, along the High Street to the TimeSpace where Alex will launch the event.

Throughout the day, visitors will be able to head out on to the water free in dinghies, yachts, kayaks and on paddleboards.

Councillor John Beavis, who organises the event, said: ‘This free festival is for the community. It gives our young people a chance to go on the water and see the range of marine activities.’