New training facilities at the UK Sailing Academy at Cowes, Isle of Wight, were officially opened by the Princess Royal yesterday.

The Princess, who is patron of the academy, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the new Maritime and Coast-guard Agency Class Four and Five yacht training resource.

During her visit, she met academy staff and visited the navigation room and its state-of-the-art ship's bridge simulator.

The Princess also met crew from the yacht Frigate of Cowes, and was given a demonstration of sea survival training in the academy's swimming pool area.

On her arrival she was presented with a bouquet by six-year-old Rosie Ely, daughter of academy principal, John Ely. The academy offers a wide range of courses from watersports for youngsters, to training for professional yacht skippers.

After leaving the academy, the Princess visited the new occupational therapy and wheelchair service centre at St Mary's Hospital, Newport. She met staff and viewed displays.