Replica torch passing between 16 sailing clubs

A replica torch from the last time Britain hosted the Olympics has begun its relay between 18 South Coast sailing clubs and organisations.

16-year-old Jacob Barnett collected the 1948 flame from the beach at Royal Torbay Yacht Club in his Laser dinghy yesterday (pictured), just after the 2012 Olympic flame passed through the Devon town.

He sailed the torch to Paignton Sailing Club, where it was collected by John Maynard, a competitor in the 1968 Olympic sailing.

The RYA south-west regional development officer, Tony Wood, said: ‘The atmosphere was fantastic and we were delighted to begin our relay in Torbay yesterday.

‘In the summer of 1948 this torch welcomed athletes from 25 nations who were about to compete in the 1948 Olympic sailing event. Being able to showcase it again to the people welcoming the 2012 torch relay has been a wonderful opportunity.’

Today the torch was sailed by Paignton’s junior sailors to Brixham Yacht Club.

Mr Wood, who organised the replica’s journey, added: ‘Sailing clubs across the coast have so many wonderful events planned with sailors and windsurfers of all ages travelling alongside it as it travels from venue to venue.

‘In the south west there is such a wonderful local connection to the 1948 Olympic sailing events, which took place in Torbay and this is a fantastic opportunity to get out on the water and celebrate our sailing heritage.’

The torch will also visit Babbacombe Sailing Club, SeaSports SW, Teignmouth Corinthian Yacht Club, Starcross Yacht Club, Topsham Sailing Club, Lympstone Sailing Club, Exmouth Sailing Club, Sidmouth Sailing Club, Beer Sailing Club, Axe Yacht Club, Lyme Regis Sailing Club, Castle Cove Sailing Club, Weymouth Sailing Club, Osprey Training Centre and SailLaser, before ending in Weymouth on July 10 when the 1948 replica torch will be gifted to Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.