Boats arrive in Greenock ahead of historic Commonwealth flotilla


Published: 26 Jul 2014 08:30

BOATS began assembling in Greenock yesterday ahead of this morning’s historic Commonwealth Games Flotilla to Glasgow.

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The River Clyde will come alive as over 1,200 sailors on a total of 250 boats leave from James Watt Dock to head up to the city as part of the Games celebrations.

Large crowds are expected for the event, which will involve what is believed to be the largest collection of boats ever assembled on the river.

The flotilla has been put together by the Scottish branch of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

Spectators will gather on the waterfront at Greenock’s Beacon Arts Centre to watch the spectacular sight.

RYA Scotland chief executive James Stuart said: “The response we’ve had from people wanting to take part in the flotilla was overwhelming — and we want as many people as possible to join us for the grand departure at the Beacon for a fantastic viewing opportunity to get a real sense of the size and scale of the event.

Vessels began arriving yesterday and the boats will muster at about 8.30am before they depart at about 10am to travel the 17 nautical miles to Glasgow’s Pacific Quay — next to the BBC HQ and Glasgow Science Centre — arriving there from about 12.30.

There will be a big screen and a live commentator outside the Beacon, delivering information on the boats and what is happening.

Inverclyde Council has splashed out £250,000 to support the event, with the investment also being used to secure longer-term improvements to James Watt Dock.

After the spectacular games opening ceremony earlier this week, Provost Robert Moran has described today’s event as Inverclyde’s chance to shine.

He said: “Inverclyde will have its moment in the spotlight when the flotilla sets sail from Greenock.

“Around 250 vessels — the biggest gathering of boats ever seen on the Clyde — will be heading up river carrying the greetings and best wishes of all of us to the countries of the Commonwealth.”

The council’s regeneration convener, Councillor Michael McCormick, is sure the event will deliver tangible benefits.

He said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Inverclyde, its sailing opportunities, maritime history and modern marine leisure services on a global stage.”

The progress of the flotilla can be tracked via the RYA’s Facebook page (Commonwealth Flotilla) and Twitter feed @Flotilla2014

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