As not only the year, but the decade too, draws to a close, St. Katharine Docks looks back at a fine year filled with some very special highlights and memorable moments.
Summer might be a distant memory, but as the sun shone down on the docks in June, the time came for a first for SKD and the chance to let people take in the marina from an unrivalled vantage point, ziplining over the centre basin. Over 3 days 300 hundred people took part in this exhilarating ride, zipping from a platform erected high up over the water to land on Marble Quay. For many office workers, it was a chance to get away from their desks and push their adrenaline levels right up, and the thrill surely gave them a boost when back in the office.
As summer progressed, St Kats had the honour of hosting the start of the 2019-2020 edition of the prestigious Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Sailing out from the marina through the iconic Tower Bridge, there was much to cheer as the epic 40,000 nautical mile race began. Crowds gathered to wish over 700 crew, forming 11 international teams, the very best, waving flags from around the world to jubilantly start the race from the waters of one of the world's most famous rivers.
The biennial race, the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston – the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world – is now in its twelfth edition, and this 11-month test of endurance really is "a race without equal", as its tagline boasts. The rest of 2019 saw crews sail in Portugal, Uruguay, South Africa and Australia, with China, the Philippines and the USA among others still to come in 2020.
For those seeking a little less adventure but still wanting to enjoy the water, September also saw the Docks local office workers get some unique exercise as they "rode" their way through the docks on sleek Schiller water bikes. Set against the backdrop of our Classic Boat Festival it proved a huge success, and the perfect way to punctuate a busy day, take in some fresh air and work up an appetite.
Speaking of which, one of the latest additions to St Kats culinary scene arrived as the year came to a close with ultra-fresh seafood restaurant The Melusine opening its doors. Paying homage to the waterways it finds itself on, the team – led by Theodore Kyriakou and Wade Mundford – have already established some firm fans with the freshest of seafood sourced directly from 15 skippers across the country. The restaurant's name, taken from European folklore from the Middle Ages, refers to a two-tailed mermaid, a creature that is both unexpected and unforgettable. This provided the inspiration to shape The Melusine's ethos and menu, with a host of dishes sure to surprise, and certain to be remembered.
As the new year and new decade approaches, we look forward to welcoming in the "new 20s", sure that at central London's only marina things will be ready for a second Golden Age for the bustling marina life that continues to thrive at St. Katharine Docks.