With the Clipper Race fleet arriving in London, Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston took the chance to combine two of his favourite pursuits last night, taking to the waves to play cricket.
The ‘quintessential English madness’ took place in perfect sailing conditions at the annual Bramble Bank cricket match, on a sandbank in the middle of the Solent. Dubbed the alternative Ashes, Sir Robin’s Hamble-based Royal Southern Yacht Club were the triumphant winners, thrashing arch rivals, Cowes-based Island Sailing Club by 318 - 60.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, a regular member of the Hamble team over the past six years commented: “It’s a great crowd of people, enormous fun and nicely nautical - how else can you combine cricket with sailing? It shows imagination in my view.”
Of his own prowess with bat and ball he added: 'It's the best performance I've ever had. I actually connected with the ball and wasn't bowled out first ball. Last year I was waved out - the ball landed in the water and a wave picked it up and hit my stumps, so I waded, I thought it was the gentlemanly thing to do.”
Excitement is building in London, with the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet due to arrive in St Katharine Dock who has been arriving throughout today. Race Village opens to the public tomorrow ahead of the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race departure on September 1 from Tower Bridge.
Thousands of people are expected to take advantage of improving weather over the Bank Holiday to come down to view the fleet, take in the Race Village atmosphere and experience a rare chance to step on board the ocean racers. Open boats are available from 11.00 – 18.00 from Saturday 24 until Saturday 31 August.