The tall ship Tenacious will take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 3 June
Tenacious, which was designed and built to be sailed by a mixed crew of able-bodied and disabled people including wheelchair users, will take part in the pageant to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Tenacious, which is operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, will be one of a flotilla of a thousand vessels forming the largest gathering of boats on the river Thames in modern times. Rowing boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Jacks, will stretch for an estimated twelve and a half miles. At 65m, Tenacious is one of the largest ships taking part and will form part of the ‘Avenue of Sail’ through which the smaller vessels will pass.
All those associated with the Jubilee Sailing Trust are delighted that their ship has been selected to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Chief Executive Alex Lochrane said: ‘Our Trust was founded in 1978 thanks to a grant from the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Fund and so we were keen for Tenacious to represent this legacy and be part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations 34 years later. It means a great deal to us to be able to support the royal event with our beautiful tall ship.’
Tenacious and the Trust’s other ship Lord Nelson are the only two in the world to have been purposedesigned and built for able-bodied and disabled people to sail alongside each other as equals. In 34 years, the Trust has taken over 36, 000 people to sea for what for many is a life changing experience. Over 14, 000 of those were disabled, including 5, 000 wheelchair users.
One member of the crew who will be aboard during the Pageant is 40 year old Nick Pilgrim. Nick became severely disabled after contracting meningitis while at nautical college studying for a career at sea. He assumed he would never go to sea again, but was introduced to the Jubilee Sailing Trust 25 years ago. Since then he has done 56 voyages with the Trust, including transatlantic crossings, and has accrued the number of miles equivalent to sailing round the world twice.
Nick’s father says: ‘The first time Nick sailed with the Trust we stood on the quayside with tears in our eyes as we saw him achieve his dream and independently away from us, his parents. We are very proud of how much Nick loves sailing and how he enjoys every minute, especially the friendships he makes on board. Because the Trust has been such a big part of his life, we are thrilled that he will be an honoured crew member taking part in the spectacular Diamond Jubilee event.’
Nick, along with other disabled and able-bodied crew members, will proudly take their place on Tenacious in the flotilla alongside Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family aboard the Royal Barge, The Spirit of Chartwell. It will be a once in a lifetime moment for the crew of Tenacious as part of this glorious moment in our rich royal history.
(source: the Royal Institute of Navigation)