RYA Sailability fundraiser welcomes HRH The Princess Royal

HRH The Princess Royal and Alexandra Rickman and Niki Birrell
RYA Sailability held a fundraiser, in conjunction with Coutts bank and law firm Farrer and Co, on Thursday 29 March welcoming HRH The Princess Royal and Skandia Team GBR’s Alex Rickman and Niki Birrell as the guests of honour.

The ‘Best of British’ themed evening was a huge success and raised over £55,000 to support sailing opportunities for sailors with disabilities.

HRH The Princess Royal welcomed an invited audience of over 300 guests in the beautiful surroundings of Coutts Garden Court on the Strand in London. HRH praised the work of RYA Sailability for enabling people of all walks of life to be introduced to sport.

The funds were raised with a live auction conducted by auctioneer Nick Bonham with donated high value items up for grabs including a flying experience from Bremont watches, a weekend at Browns Hotel Mayfair and a gold ring from the David Marshall Beach Rocks collection.

RYA Sailability Chairman Pat Dodd said: 'We are delighted with the amount of money raised. I would like to thank every company and individual who has donated a prize, every guest who brought a prize, our wonderful drinks sponsor and of course Coutts and Farrer & Co for coming together to create such a splendid evening'.

Michael Morley, Chief Executive of Coutts said: 'Michael Morley, Chief Executive of Coutts & Co, said: 'Coutts is delighted to support RYA Sailability and host such a successful event. RYA Sailability has for many years supported disabled individuals and instilled in them confidence and the ability to enjoy the freedom that comes with sailing.

'The work that they do through their charitable efforts and through inspiring people across the country to be involved in one of our best loved sports cannot be underestimated. This is particularly true in 2012, when the United Kingdom will have the honour of hosting the Olympic Games and we can truly showcase to the world the ‘Best of British’.'

Thanks also go to the staff of Farrer & Co who have supported the charity by raising funds for a new Skud18 for Skandia Team GBR sailors Alex and Niki who are competing in the Paralympic Games. After London 2012, the boat will then be donated to an RYA Sailability Foundation site.

Niki Birrell said: 'It has been a pleasure to be here this evening. RYA Sailability is a hugely important charity to both Alex and myself and has been one of the most important aspects in our campaigns. Hopefully we will be able to give something back to Sailability by winning a Gold this summer!'

For more information about RYA Sailability click here.

RYA website