HRH The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the new Cowes Combined Clubs Regatta Centre yesterday

The official opening of the new Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC) Regatta Centre took place yesterday.

Around 150 guests mingled in glorious sunshine as His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh KG KT (pictured left) arrived at the new Regatta Centre to be greeted by the Town Mayor of Cowes, Mr Alan Wells. Following formal introductions, Prince Philip was escorted on a tour of the building prior to undertaking the public unveiling of a plaque to mark the occasion.

This year CCC celebrates its 40th Anniversary and during a brief speech by the Chairman, Peter Ralls QC, he revealed that CCC actually came into being in 1964 as a direct result of a suggestion from Prince Philip to the Royal Yacht Squadron that someone should pull together the then disparate races that made up the Cowes Week Regatta into one unified event.

Peter Ralls went on to express CCC’s delight with the look of the finished building and the splendid facilities that it provides. He paid tribute to the architect Derek Morris for the sympathetic design, and to Stoneham Construction for completing it to such a high standard as well as the project manager, Christopher Scott, for helping to keep everything on track.

Prior to handing over to Prince Philip to perform the unveiling ceremony (held outside the building to enable as many people as possible to witness this great occasion), Peter Ralls rounded off by saying that, “both Cowes as a sailing centre and Cowes Combined Clubs are very fortunate to have what we believe is the best regatta centre in the World. Purpose designed and fitted out, we shall be the envy of regatta organisers everywhere. We hope that the new facility will eventually be utilised by most large regatta organisers and for other sailing events that are run from Cowes, as well as being the home for Skandia Cowes Week.”