On Monday 4th June 2012 Ocean Village Marina became the focus of Gibraltar’s Jubilee events when the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla congregated at Ocean Village Marina Gibraltar before setting out on a celebratory circuit of the Rock.
The much anticipated Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla took place on Monday 4th June 2012 in Ocean Village Marina Gibraltar. After a welcome from Gregory Butcher and Ros Astengo of Ocean Village there was a short safety briefing from the Port Authorities, after all, the challenges faced by the flotilla in Gibraltar were rather different from those faced by sailors on the Thames.
For a start the requirement was for high-factor sunscreen rather than brollies and the staging of the event at sea meant that great skill was required by all participating to ensure that boats kept a safe distance from each other.
With boats from 2m to 70m taking part in the flotilla, organisation was key to a successful event. This meant that vessels were separated by category – small boats under 9m at the head of the flotilla, followed by powered boats over 9m and sailing vessels bringing up the rear.
The Port of Gibraltar vessel, The General Elliot, led the flotilla on its route supported in marshalling duties by other police, customs and port vessels.
After departure the flotilla weaved through the vast commercial ships in The Bay of Gibraltar before heading up to Europa Point where large crowds had gathered to watch the 161-strong fleet pass by.
At Catalan Bay the flotilla turned to head back to Ocean Village – but not before saluting the crowds on the beach and thanking them for their support.
“It was a wonderful day – and I really felt that I was part of something special, something historic.” commented Barbara Sellors who, like many others, enjoyed the flotilla as a passenger on one of the many boats selling tickets for the day.
In total the journey took about 2 hours at a steady 5-8 knots and the flotilla arrived just in time to enjoy the ice-cold complimentary drinks at the Crew Party, sponsored by Gib Oil, Lloyds, CTS and All Abroad Sailing Academy.
As the sun began to set on a memorable day the crews were still enjoying the atmosphere in Ocean Village where the all-day-party continued as people gathered to watch the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon by Gibraltar’s former Miss World, Kaiane Aldorino.