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Crowds line Clyde for flotilla

THE Clyde was yesterday transformed by a fleet of 250 ships, yachts and clippers making up the largest ever flotilla to pass through Glasgow.

More than 10,000 people watched as the flotilla made its way from Greenock, led by the CalMac ferry Lochinvar, as part of the city's Commonwealth Games celebrations.

Among the 1900 sailors taking part was Andy Gallacher, originally from Partick, who departed the Clyde in early 1958 at the age of 16 as a deck boy on board a British tanker and had never returned until today.

One of the finest boats of the early 20th-century Scottish fishing fleet also sailed down the Clyde.

Launched in 1900, The Swan survived two world wars and the threat of destruction.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Scotland, which organised the 19-nautical mile journey, estimated around 10,000 spectators attended both of its official spectator sites at the Beacon Arts Centre and the Riverside Museum.

James Stuart, chief executive of RYA Scotland, said: "We are amazed and absolutely thrilled at the success of the Commonwealth Flotilla.

"We wanted to inject some colour into the Clyde for one weekend in what is probably the most important fortnight in Glasgow's recent history."

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