I was in London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and had media access to the River Thames Pageant with over 1,000 vessels participating in a flotilla on the Thames from Battersea to Tower Bridge. It was one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river, with rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes beautifully dressed and turned out in their finest rigs.
Although the weather let the day down, as is normal with the English summer being cold and wet, even putting Prince Philip in hospital after standing for 4 hours watching the flotilla.
New Zealand had three entrants, the controversial Waka, Te Hono ki Aotearoa, which was initially banned for health and safety reasons but the organisers relented when Prime Minister John Key intervened. The Waka was joined by the Shackleton and Swiftsure 2, both crewed by young New Zealand Sailors. Despite a case of hypothermia, I am sure they all had the greatest experience of a lifetime.