THE countess of Wessex visited Hampshire for a charity sailing day.

The countess and her daughter, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, joined seven teenage girls from across the UK and Ireland who are currently embarking on a six day sailing adventure operated by the Rona sailing project, at Haslar Marina in Gosport.

As a patron for the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), the countess took part in the project that offers sailing opportunities for young people from all backgrounds.

ASTO president, Rear Admiral John Lang, said: “We’re delighted that our patron the Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise could join one of our member vessels today to see first hand the great work done by one of the many sail training organisations that offer programmes across the UK.

“The Rona Sailing Project is one amongst many vessel operators who work tirelessly to widen the horizons and self confidence of young people from all backgrounds and abilities through their sail training activities.”

When the team set sail, everybody on board including the royal crew mates got involved in hauling the sails.

One of the trainees sailing on board Donald Searle was Hannah McKenzie, 19, from Glasgow who is sailing with the Rona project for the third time.

“It’s been a really great day and having our special guests on board reinforced the amazing experience we’ve been having over the last days.”