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Saundersfoot Harbour Commissioners were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Saundersfoot Harbour on Friday 14 October, during the final weekend of the World Rowing Coastal Championships & Beach Sprint Finals, an auspicious world event for which the Harbour is the host venue.

HRH The Princess Royal was greeted on the National Events Deck by the Lord Lieutenant, Sara Edwards, and a member Tenby Sea Cadets, while the children of Saundersfoot CP School sang sea shanties. HRH The Princess Royal met County Councillors Chris Williams and Alec Cormack, Community Councillor Dean Ludlow, and Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan MS, before being introduced to the board of Harbour Commissioners, Chair Philip Evans CBE, Vice Chair Ted Sangster, Wendy Goldsworthy, David McDermott, Jim Codd, and Andrew Evans; and Saundersfoot Harbour CEO Michael Davies.

The Commissioners were pleased to show HRH The Princess Royal one of Harbour’s newest facilities, the Coastal Schooner Experience, part of the Wales International Coastal Centre, a new £10 million development which has received significant support funding from EU Funding Bodies, Welsh Government and the Coastal Communities Fund.

The Coastal Schooner is an unique building, constructed to represent a traditional three-masted sailing schooner, like those which once transited coal from Saundersfoot Harbour to other ports around the Bristol Channel and Irish Sea. The building will house an interpretation centre which forms part of a three-site heritage experience which the Harbour, with support from the Saundersfoot Bay Heritage Regeneration Group, have developed to capture the rich history of Saundersfoot and Pembrokeshire. The Coastal Schooner focuses on the Pembrokeshire and Wales’ maritime heritage, from coastal trade to migration and exploration, and will also include a small coffee shop, high-ropes course to climb the rigging, and the ability to hoist a cinema screen up the masts for outdoor cinema events.

HRH The Princess Royal was one of the first visitors to the Coastal Schooner’s newly fitted maritime heritage centre, before going onto top deck, and finally unveiling the name of the ship: Free Spirit, Ysbryd Rhydd.

HRH The Princess Royal continued her visit to Saundersfoot Harbour by attending the World Rowing Coastal Championships & Beach Sprint Finals, meeting Chair Jeremy Wilton; Chief Executive of Welsh Rowing, Dan Fella, a number of the competing athletes; Chair of British Rowing, Mark Davies; and President of World Rowing, Jean-Christophe Rolland, before being presented with a World Rowing medal by Samantha English from Welsh Rowing.

The Coastal Schooner will officially open in Spring 2023, and Saundersfoot Harbour look forward to welcoming both the community and visitors to the new Wales International Coastal Centre.

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The Saundersfoot Harbour Team

The Saundersfoot Harbour Team

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