Gibraltar in the Mediterranean may be over a thousand miles from the UK, yet the British overseas territory is still planning its own alternative to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The ‘Rock’ is holding a superyacht extravaganza on 4th June four days before London’s celebrations.
The event’s organisers are aiming to attract 100 participating vessels for a gathering at Gibraltar’s Ocean Village marina to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne. Non-boaters are also encouraged to attend aboard a chartered yacht from one of Gibraltar’s many licensed operators.
“When we learnt that there was going to be a flotilla up the Thames on 3rd June to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee we thought, ‘Why not do the same in Gibraltar?’” said Ros Astengo, Event Organiser for Ocean Village.
“The idea was touted amongst boat owners here in Ocean Village marina and then, after a positive response, we took the proposal to the Government and the Governor’s office who offered unanimous support.”
All manner of vessels are expected at the event, dressed in streamers and Union Jacks with much horn-tooting and flag-waving. Local bars and restaurants within Ocean Village will lay on special meals and cocktails with live music and DJs.
“Aside from enthusiasm on the Rock, we expect plenty of Brits and other nationalities along the Costa to come and join in the Jubilee pomp,” said Ros Astengo.
The flotilla which will depart from Ocean Village marina at midday on Monday. Its onboard celebrations will include a special party for crew members.
Meanwhile, the soon-to-be-opened Champagne Bar on Leisure Island will host celebration drinks and, later in the evening, the top of Gibraltar’s Rock will be lit up to end the day with a magical spectacle.
It is free for all vessels to participate and there is no competitive element to the event. According to Ros, the event is “simply a wonderful way to show our appreciation for the Queen and enjoy some of the London spirit down here in the Gibraltar sunshine.”
For a list of these providers, along with a full schedule of music events, food and drink offers and the timetable for the all-important skipper’s briefing, see the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JubileeFlotillaGibraltar.