Round One of the Topper National Series held over the weekend (Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September) at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre, has, on initial estimation contributed over £50,000 into the local visitor destination economy. The single-handed dinghy event (the first of a series held around the UK) was hosted by Plymouth Youth Sailing with additional on-water and on-shore support provided by the Centre. This is the first national sailing event to be held in Plymouth Sound since it was declared that it would be the UK’s first National Marine Park on Saturday 14th September.
With over one hundred and fifty young sailors enjoying the natural harbour and competitive environment of Plymouth Sound, soon to be the first National Marine Park in the UK, friends, families and crew from around the country also joined in the sailing celebrations and enjoyed staying in local accommodation, sampling local hospitality and shopping in the city’s wide range of national high street names as well as independent, local businesses during the weekend.
Leader of Plymouth City Council Tudor Evans OBE said: “The Topper National Series is an important event in the calendar for Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City and once again has given a significant boost to our local economy – as well as inspiring more people to get out onto the water.
“Through our work with partners we are creating the UK’s first National Marine Park and getting more Plymouth residents and visitors engaged with our ocean is one of the key priorities, especially as we know that 17 per cent of children in Plymouth have never been to the sea.
“We would like to thank both Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre and Plymouth Youth Sailing for hosting another superb event.”
Alex King, Centre Director for the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome national, large-scale on-water events to the city. As just one of a small number of centres across the country able to facilitate such events, it’s a privilege to be able to support these young sailors and enable them to enjoy, and be tested, by Plymouth Sound’s unique environment.”
“With the signed declaration by local, regional and national partners that Plymouth Sound will be the UK’s first National Marine Park, the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre continue to work with a wide range of partners within the city and beyond to actively promote the newly found status to ensure that local, regional, national and international recreational and competitive on-water users are encouraged to visit and enjoy Plymouth Sound and the city’s accommodation, hospitality, shopping and other leisure activities too.
Alex concludes “We speak to many of the competitors and their families who say they love visiting Plymouth and often return even when not competing to explore the city and surrounding area further.”
To find out more about the National Marine Park you can watch this video.
Photo credit: Peter Guilliatt – Plymouth Youth Sailing