River Thames in London will see more than thousand boats in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, held on Sunday 3rd June, 2012. The largest flotilla in modern times, expected to stretch over 12 and a half miles, will be joined by the berth holders from MDL‘s Thames marinas – Bray, Windsor and Penton Hook.
The lucky boaters were picked from thousands of applicants to sit alongside the beautifully dressed rowing boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes. Pageant organisers and representatives from the river community were involved in the selection process, which included considering safety, fitness-for-purpose and range of vessel type, as well as exploring whether the vessel was of historical significance or had an interesting story to tell.
One of the private boats travelling in the flotilla is Dandy Regent, a Solar 32 motor cruiser. Berthed at Bray Marina and owned by Peter and Dot Hasler of Bracknell, Berkshire, she was built 1975 by Carr & West in Brundell. Representing The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Bray Cruiser Club, the craft is bright green and is one of only 20 that were ever made in bright colours.
Peter Hasler said: “I am thrilled to have been selected to participate in this pageant. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are delighted that our boat has been chosen to take part in this glorious historical moment. We are looking forward to decorating the boat and having representatives from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award on board.”
Bob Smith, Vice Commodore of Penton Hook Yacht Club, is a berth holder from Penton Hook Marina. Bob is the owner of Sea Symphony, a 37ft Dutch steel boat, which has also been selected. He is really looking forward to the event, commenting: “I am absolutely over the moon to have been selected. It’s certainly something I wouldn’t get the chance to do in my lifetime again and I am very proud to play a part in this momentous occasion with Sea Symphony.”
Bob will be representing The Royal Society of Saint George Yachting Association which is a branch of The Royal Society of Saint George. The Society is a patriotic society and is honoured to have as its Patron Her Majesty the Queen.
Also selected is a special boat called Islay, an immaculately restored wooden gentleman’s launch which is berthed at MDL’s Windsor Marina. Built in 1922 by Camper and Nicholson for Brigadier General Woodroffe, current owner Adam Toop discovered her in an Italian museum and lovingly restored her to the stunning boat she is today.
Adam is delighted to be involved, commenting: “Many hours of hard work and love have gone into restoring Islay and we are absolutely delighted she will part of the Jubilee Pageant. It’s great that a boat with such heritage has been selected to take part in this momentous occasion and we are really looking forward to celebrating with everyone on the water.”
Every vessel will proudly take its place in the flotilla alongside Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family aboard the Royal Barge, The Spirit of Chartwell. It will be a once in a lifetime moment for everyone on board their boats as part of this glorious moment in our rich royal history.
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