SeaBritain and the Royal Navy announce what's in store for next year's Trafalgar Festival and more

Today, Wednesday 29 September, is the 246th birthday of Lord Horatio Nelson – one of Britain’s finest captains of the Royal Navy. And to mark the occasion, SeaBritain 2005 has announced what’s in store for the year-long festival celebrating Britain’s long love affair with the sea.

Next year is the bicentenary of Nelson’s famous victory onVictoryitself at Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 – the battle that established Britain’s naval supremacy for over a hundred years, clearing the seas for the growth of Britain’s trade and empire.

David Quarmby, Chairman of SeaBritain 2005 announced a programme that includes events and commemorations throughout the year, including the Trafalgar Festival. Mr Quarmby said: “We want to raise awareness of the importance of the sea today.” SeaBritain is joined in collaboration with the National Maritime Museum, VisitBritian, the National Trust, RYA, British Marine Federation and many more.

The Royal Navy, after concerns over the ability to fund the Trafalgar 200 programme, said their plans are supported by a mixture of funds from the private and public sectors.

Rear Admiral James Rapp, Director General of Trafalgar 200, said: “The event begins on Tuesday 28 June with the International Fleet review in the Solent. We are expecting 40 nations to attend.” The 600-year tradition will continue with a line-up of naval vessels from around the world including tall ships, merchant ships, small craft and yachts.

A four-day international festival will then continue from 30 June to 3 July in Portsmouth where visitors will be able to go aboard vessels.

Another highlight is the Race around the Isle of Wight on the 13 June. And from 4 August to 11 September will be a recreation of the voyage ofPicklebringing news of Nelson’s death involving the procession of a new Trafalgar Dispatch to Spain, France and the English counties from Falmouth to London. The National Maritime Museum will also have an exhibition called Nelson & Napoleon.

Dressed in traditional attire Nelson and his crew attended the launch of SeaBritain 2005 to transport us back to the days of 1805 and understand the significance of our seas. As he said: “We write history across the stars?and will make the seas rise again.”

Find out more information about the events for SeaBritain 2005 in the up and coming issues of Yachting World magazine.