Taking a 70-foot ocean racing yacht into central London

17 September 2014

As if the logistics of organising a round the world yacht race were not enough, we decided to celebrate the launch of the GREAT Britain team’s participation in the 2013-14 race by taking the 70-foot yacht to Trafalgar Square!

After consultation and approval from 26 different agencies and the assistance of 12 agencies, the GREAT Britain yacht departed Southampton on 29 July to begin its journey to central London.

Adrian Dennis, of Coast 2 Coast Boat Transport, the agency who moved the racing yacht, explains the task.

“The biggest challenge with getting a boat the size of a Clipper 70 in central London is actually the first 10 kilometres, getting out of Southampton and onto the motorway and then the last 20 kilometres, which takes about an hour and a half, to get it into central London.”

The yacht then took centre stage for it’s official unveiling on 31 July where race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sports Minister the Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP presented the yacht to the on looking media and public.

Facts on the Clipper 70’s journey to Trafalgar Square:

  • The GREAT Britain yacht had a police escort of six police motorcycle riders through central London, more than the Queen normally has. The convoy also include two Land Rover escorts and three pilot vehicles.
  • The route the Clipper 70 had to take was 142 miles. This is 65 miles more than route generally taken (due to restrictions laid out by then Highways Agency and Transport for London due to the removal of road traffic furniture).
  • Once at Trafalgar Square, the housing took six hours and more than 50 workers to construct.
  • More than 110,000 saw the GREAT Britain yacht during its five-day stay in central London.
  • The GREAT Britain yacht (with a promotional mast) is twice the length, twice the width and three times the height of a double decker London bus.