Our beautiful new boat Freedom has been officially named and commissioned.

Nice smiles from Dave, Victoria, Gordon and Kevin.

The ceremony took place on a squally Saturday in early November at Torquay Harbour with special guest Victoria Graham from BBC Spotlight, accompanied by Kevin Foster MP and Mayor Gordon Oliver.

Victoria arrived as scheduled at 11.00, just after one huge downpour. Under a lowering sky we managed to usher her quickly into Quay Reflections, the harbour-side cafe, before the next deluge. There Victoria spent an hour chatting with members and guests over coffee; a unique opportunity for our members to get to know Victoria and for Victoria to hear about our charity. Spotting a tiny window in the weather we brought the naming ceremony forward a little and moved swiftly on down to the pontoon, our volunteers kitting everyone out with life jackets first.

Victoria gave a lovely speech…. “Everyone knows that I love to smile and laugh and be happy, and I’ve got a feeling that commissioning Freedom will bring a lot of people much happiness, much laughter – and that is one of the most important things in life. To Freedom!” ....and poured champagne over Freedom’s bow (but not too much!) to applause from everyone.

It was not the day to take our guests for a sail but our Skippers showed Victoria, Kevin Foster MP and Gordon Oliver, Mayor around Freedom, before we all made our way up to the RTYC for a light buffet lunch and another opportunity to chat to Victoria. After lunch Chairman Dave made a small presentation to Victoria who bravely said she would down some anti sea-sickness pills and come sailing with us at a later date.

Chairman Dave said….Our thanks to Victoria for radiating happiness throughout the day and for getting so quickly to the heart of what we do”.

She made the day extra special for our members. Thanks also to our volunteer Skippers and crew whose hard work meant the day went so smoothly, to Mick and family at Quay Reflections for looking after us so well, even with table service from Claire (just the once, she said, as it was our special day!), and to John at RTYC for his usual brilliant catering.