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PLA Supporting Royal Naval Reserve Campaign

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has assisted the Royal Navy in its promotion campaign to boost the profile of the Maritime Reserves.

The Royal Navy has worked with its media partner talkSport radio to record adventurous broadcasts to reflect the opportunities available to maritime reservists. The broadcasts in this latest campaign include deck hockey on a Type 23 frigate, the gruelling Gibraltar Rock Run, and a rowing race on the Thames.

The PLA planned the rowing challenge on behalf of the Royal Navy and talkSPORT radio on the Richmond stretch of the tidal Thames and provided a safety launch that also served as a photography platform. The authority also provided a rival crew for the Royal Navy reservists to race against in its traditional Thames Waterman cutter Centurion. It was in competition against HMS President's cutter Arthur Tisdall VC. The crews comprised experienced PLA rowers and reservists from HMS President. Each cutter had talkSPORT sound recordists as passengers to capture the event for later broadcast, which has now been released.

The race was especially challenging due to the thick fog that had set in, which reduced visibility down to 10 metres, when a sunny and clear day was forecasted less than 48 hours before.

Fai Lee, PLA digital communications manager, initiated the planning for the rowing challenge because of his link as a reservist at HMS President. He said:

"It's a natural collaboration for PLA to work with the Royal Naval Reserve where there's mutual benefit to be had. We welcome naval vessels to the capital each year and worked even more closely than usual through London 2012 when HMS Ocean was on the river at Greenwich throughout the Olympics and Paralympics.”

Commander Peter Gracey who coxed the HMS President cutter said:

"It was great fun working with talkSPORT and PLA. Everyone showed excellent teamwork and good sportsmanship in challenging conditions. The best team won, of course."

The film footage of the rowing challenge can be viewed on talkSPORT’s website here: http://talksport.com/navy-reserves

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Contact: Port of London Authority | Email: webenquiries@pla.co.uk | 01474 562 251

Notes to Editors:

1. The PLA assists in the safe planning of rowing regattas and various other leisure activities on the tidal Thames.

2. The PLA has been instrumental in the planning and preparation of two recent historic events on the Thames:
- The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant with 1,000 vessels on the water, more info at:
- The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, more info at:

3. The Royal Naval Reserve is a part-time force of 2,300 trained men and women who are deployed with the Royal Navy in times of tension, humanitarian crisis, or conflict. They may be civilian but Reservists wear the same uniform and do much of the same training as the Regulars. More info at: http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/The-Fleet/Maritime-Reserves/Royal-Naval-Reserve/RNR-Units/London-HMS-President

4. Visit the talkSPORT campaign website: http://talksport.com/navy-reserves