Page last updated at 21:16 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 22:16 UK

Queen sees Olympic sailing venue

The Queen in Weymouth
The Queen arrived at Weymouth train station this morning

Hundreds of people have welcomed the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to the Dorset sailing venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Beijing sailing champions Pippa Wilson and Andrew Simpson showed the royal couple Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).

The new centre was created to help novice sailors and Olympic competitors ahead of 2012 and after.

The Queen and Duke also took a boat trip in Weymouth Harbour.

WPNSA organisers claimed the academy provided the best small boat sailing waters in the world and said it also made it ideal to get youngsters out on the water for the first time.

The Queen and Duke found out about the Chesil Trust community programmes, which include the Sail for £5 scheme for local children.

'Very exciting'

John Tweed, WPNSA's chief executive, said: "There will be a number of young people learning to sail and we hope to give a real flavour of how important this facility is for the whole community, not just the competitive sailors."

The royal couple met chairman of the 2012 organising committee Lord Sebastian Coe, who said: "It's our first venue to be completed.

"That's always comforting when you are organising something of the complexity of the Olympic Games.

"This is by some distance the best sailing conditions for competition sailing anywhere in the world.

"It's very exciting that the Queen has come to see not just the elite end of the sport but also a recognition that the royal family have been very supportive of the whole Olympic project."

Later, the royal couple visited the Tank Museum at Bovington, where the Queen officially opened a £16.5m museum wing housing some of the rarest tanks in the world.

The royal couple were met at the museum by its patron the Duke of Kent.

The Queen also toured the Goldy's Farm Shop in Lytchett Matravers while the Duke visited the Energy Centre.


It is the first time the Queen has made an official visit to Weymouth since 1959

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