250 boats, 1,900 participants and thousands of spectators make Commonwealth Flotilla a resounding success.

People across Glasgow and west Scotland turned out in their thousands to welcome the RYA Scotland Commonwealth Flotilla, which took place on Saturday 26 July 2014.

The Royal Yachting Association Scotland, which organised the 19 nautical mile journey from James Watt Dock in Greenock to Pacific Quay, Glasgow, estimated around ten thousand spectators attended both of its official spectator sites at the Beacon Arts Centre and the Riverside Museum. Many more lined the route up the River Clyde to catch a glimpse of the 250-strong fleet.

In addition, RYA Scotland confirmed that over 1,900 sailors took part in the Commonwealth Flotilla, the largest assembly of boats in the history of the Clyde.

Click on this link for the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THTufUvWqbQ&feature=player_embedded

Another link from Scottish Canals website – http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/media-centre/photo-gallery/the-commonwealth-flotilla-sets-sail (The fourth photo in the series shows Dream Weaver to the right on the inside of the raft of yachts)

The flotilla was headed by the CalMac ferry, Lochinvar, a diesel electric hybrid. Other boats taking part ranged from small family cruising yachts to more traditional working boats including the VIC32 “Clyde puffer”.

James Stuart, CEO of RYA Scotland said: “We are amazed and absolutely thrilled at the success of the Commonwealth Flotilla. We wanted to inject some colour into the Clyde for one weekend in what is probably the most important fortnight in Glasgow’s recent history. We got the sense in the days leading up to the event that this was going to be a big event but the response that we got from spectators throughout the day has been incredible, and totally beyond our expectations.

“Speaking to people just after we arrived at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, we really got a sense of the interest and excitement people had in watching this historic event and we want to thank the people of Glasgow and Inverclyde and beyond who turned out to make this such a perfect day.”

To accommodate the number of boats and participants, RYA Scotland built a pop-up marina in Glasgow city centre, utilising over 1km of pontoons and around 100 volunteers.

Once settled in Pacific Quay the flotilla also enjoyed a royal visit as HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, spent time meeting and greeting many of the participants in a pontoon walk.

A whole host of stories and photographs from the event can be found on the event Facebook page and Twitter account @Flotilla2014

You can also read more about the event at www.flotilla2014.org.uk where there is a full list of boats that took part and a selection of stories about specific boats who participated in the event.

Behind the scenes – How it all came together

Find out what it took to put on the biggest flotilla Glasgow has ever seen.

Click on this link for the video –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nGIuEW3TNvw&list=UUSza01OoHbrx9x40fVK1xgA

A further Update from the RYA on 13th August 2014

“A lasting image of the Commonwealth Games will be the flotilla of hundreds of ships which sailed into Glasgow at the weekend.” STV

We all did it. We created history on the 26th July 2014 as the largest flotilla of boats ever to head up the Clyde. It was a special sight, became the top story UK wide on the BBC for a large part of the day and STV got it right, it has become an enduring image of the XXth Commonwealth Games. Thank you for helping to make it possible.

Without your enthusiasm, patience, good humour and skill at the helm the event would never have gone as well as it did. I am hugely grateful and incredibly proud to have been associated with such a fantastic event.

The event aimed to be a spectacle. It also aimed to kick off a conversation about the waters that surround us, and the fact they are not used as much as they could or should be. It seems to have had some effect already. There is talk of revisiting the development of the Clyde to ensure that the waterway can be more than just a backdrop to the fantastic city of Glasgow. The event is however the beginning of our project to see all of our waters all around Scotland used more often. They belong to us all and should be used by us all.

The next part of this conversation needs your help. Please talk about the sailing and boating you do with as many people as you can. Share your pictures on line, send us notes and articles about the boating you do, in fact please do anything you think will work to draw attention to the excitement and opportunity being on the water gives. This is a big project with a big aim and we need as many people to champion our amazing sport as we can. Join in our part of the conversation on twitter (@RYAScotland), Facebook (search RYA Scotland) and on our web pages.

Thank you again for all of your help to make the Flotilla and the first step of our big boating conversation such a success! See you all out on the water.


RYA Scotland Chief Executive Officer

So what next?

If you loved being part of the RYA Scotland Commonwealth Flotilla and are not an RYA member yet then why not join today? You can join online and individual membership is as little as £43 PER YEAR for an adult. There are lots of member benefits which can save you money, including at least a 20% discount on SLAM UK kit who providing the volunteer clothing for the flotilla. The RYA have a fantastic team of people on hand to give you legal advice, talk to you about training and have a great range of publications to support you in the boating you do. Above all you will be adding your support to RYA and RYA Scotland, without which we couldn’t run event such as the flotilla. If you are already an RYA member then thank you for your continued support. If you would like to join then visit:https://www.rya.org.uk/joinrenew/Pages/JoinRenewForm.aspx

Dates for your diary…

If you have been inspired by the Commonwealth Flotilla and are looking for another event to get involved with to help showcase boating in Scotland then why not have a look at the Forth Bridges Festival Flotilla? RYA Scotland are thankfully not organising this one (we are still recovering from our own Commonwealth Flotilla!) but we would love to see it be a fantastic success with lots of boats taking part. It takes place on 7th September so you haven’t got long to register your boat but if you can then please do get involved. Not got a boat? Don’t worry, there are still opportunities for you to purchase tickets to get on the water and be part of the action. As we have said countless times now, there really is no better way to see Scotland than from the water and this is especially true when talking about the iconic Forth Bridges! For more information go to: http://www.forthbridgesfestival.com/flotilla-entry/

Scotland’s Boat Show at Kip Marina is taking place 10-12 October 2014, are you going to be there? RYA Scotland are one of the main sponsors again for this event and it would be great to see everyone again. Last year we had a great time offering up free dinghy taster sessions for the kids to try sailing and also sailing experiences on Drum as well as some talks and workshops on the shore. We hope to offer up just as good a programme of activities again this year so keep an eye out for announcements a bit closer to the event. Last year was full of laughs and sunshine so fingers crossed for more sunshine and make sure you come down to the RYA Scotland stand to say hello!

The RYA Scotland team has had a fantastic time hearing from so many people and talking to them about the boating they do in the run up to and during the Commonwealth Flotilla. Don’t stop! As James mentioned above we want to keep hearing from everyone and sharing the good news stories about boating in Scotland. We communicate through our monthly e-newsletter (register to receive it here), our website, our RYA Scotland Facebook page and also our @RYAScotland Twitter feed and Instagram account. So please do share with us your stories and pictures from out on the water and also feel free to tell us about events you are involved with so that we can help with spreading the word. Communication and Marketing Manager Claire is always happy to hear about a variety of interesting stories so please do drop her an email if you have something to share: claire.caffrey@ryascotland.org.uk

Kind regards,

The RYA Scotland and Commonwealth Flotilla Team