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G4S 49ers Receive Royal Support with One Month to Go

Prince Charles lends a hand to G4S 49ers Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes

G4S-sponsored 49ers Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes had a royal surprise when Prince Charles turned up to visit the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) yesterday, just ahead of the One Month to Go before the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The prince met members of the Team GB sailing squad and assisted Stevie and Ben in the naming of their new boat, Lovely Rita, by sprinkling the new 49er with a bottle of locally-produced Dorset Palmers Gold beer.

“We told [Prince Charles] that this was our new boat, about to be launched and he offered to help us christen it,” Stevie said. “We had actually gotten Ben Ainslie lined up to do it for us, but it was great that Prince Charles was able to step in. Hopefully this will provide us with a bit more luck going into the Games.”

Ben explained their reason for the name of their new vessel:

“Lovely Rita is a Beatles song and we thought it was as British a name as it could be. Ben [Ainslie] names all his boats Rita so we thought we should get in on the action.”

Stevie and Ben will represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games, which kicks off with its Opening Ceremony exactly one month from today. The sailing competition will take place at the WPNSA near Weymouth.