Vessels Set for Massive Muster at Greenock

Posted: 23rd July 2014 | Written by: Inverclydenow

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An historic gathering of elegant small ships, clippers, yachts and working boats making up the Commonwealth Flotilla will muster at James Watt Dock, Greenock on Friday (25 July).

And at 10am on Saturday (26 July), almost 1,500 crew aboard 250 vessels will set sail from outside the Custom House in Greenock where there will be a viewing area bound for Pacific Quay, 17 nautical miles up the Clyde, to the heart of Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Royal Yachting Association Scotland (RYA Scotland) is behind the event and chief executive James Stuart said: “This is going to be an amazing summer to be in Scotland and the Commonwealth Flotilla is shaping up to be one of the must-see events of the Festival 2014 programme. 

“The response from people wanting to take part was overwhelming, and we want as many as possible to join us for the grand departure at the Beacon in Greenock, or Riverside Museum in Glasgow, which will provide a fantastic viewing opportunity to get a real sense of the size and scale of the event.”

One of those taking part is Levingtonlass – a Nicholson 35 yacht - and for its owner, Andy Gallacher it’s a hugely sentimental journey. The 72-year-old was born in Partick, Glasgow, and as a boy of 12 selling newspapers on the docks he dreamt of going to sea. In 1958, aged 16, Andy joined the Merchant Navy as a deckhand before embarking on a 30-year career in the fire brigade. He has also sailed in yachts from as far as the Arctic to Australia and New Zealand.

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This homecoming journey will be even more memorable because his brother, Jim, 60, has travelled from Vancouver, Canada, to take part. The third crew member is Patrick Quinn, 74, in whose boat Andy sailed to the Arctic Circle. Andy, now of Conway, North Wales said: “I nearly missed out on this trip because I dropped a washer into the engine and it’s taken me two weeks to dismantle and put back together. I’m looking forward to sailing up the Clyde. When I was 12 there were no pleasure boats because the river was so polluted but now it’s so clean.”

This homecoming journey will be even more memorable because his brother, Jim, 60, has travelled from Vancouver, Canada, to take part. The third crew member is Patrick Quinn, 74, in whose boat Andy sailed to the Arctic Circle. Andy, now of Conway, North Wales said: “I nearly missed out on this trip because I dropped a washer into the engine and it’s taken me two weeks to dismantle and put back together. I’m looking forward to sailing up the Clyde. When I was 12 there were no pleasure boats because the river was so polluted but now it’s so clean.”

*Original story: inverclydenow via Google News
(search terms: commonwealth games sailing)

*Image credits: Flickr/Linda Connon & Flickr/John Lord CC2.0
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