Portsmouth people love a party – any form of mass celebration or commemoration sees them turning out in their tens of thousands.
Remember 1994 and the towering success of the Tour de France when it came to the city? Or the 50th anniversary of D-Day that same year when the world’s gaze was fixed on Portsmouth?
In 1982 tens of thousands watched the task force return from the Falklands war.
Six years ago (was it really six?) when the Olympic torch blazed into the city, that event on Southsea Common drew the biggest crowds of anywhere in Britain.
In the modern era the die was cast for these events on July 4, 1968, when 250,000 people, yes a quarter-of-a-million, thronged Southsea seafront to welcome home Alec Rose (he was knighted the next day) and his yacht Lively Lady, marking the end of his 354-day, single-handed, round-the-world voyage. In his wake trailed a flotilla of about 400 little boats.
From Southsea greengrocer to knight of the realm, Sir Alec was an inspiration to young sailors. He was part of a generation of sailors who helped prove that small boats could sail around the world.
Those who were there on that unforgettable summer’s day when Lively Lady arrived off the beach from where the Isle of Wight hovercraft now flies, will never forget it.
And what better way could there be to mark the 50th anniversary of that magical milestone in our city’s history than by breaking two world records involving an army of volunteers and sailing enthusiasts.
Ocean racing legend Alan Priddy, the organiser of the events and whose team is completing Lively Lady’s refurbishment, deserves everyone’s backing.
Why not sign up today and be part of yet more historic moments in this city’s history?