THE Royal Suva Yacht Club conducted its sail past yesterday in the Suva harbour in an 84-year-old tradition as it officially opened its sailing event calendar for the year.
Commodore Mark Hirst said the event was an annual custom that the club members anticipated as they prepared for their activities for the year.
"The sail past is basically when the boats in our club are blessed as they circle around the commodore who salutes them and wishes them well, officially opening our activities for the year," Mr Hirst said.
He said a cleric was invited to the event each year to bless the boats.
The Fiji Times then joined the crew of the Boardroom to witness the custom.
Boats sailed around the commodore and Rear Commodore Patricia Punja as they stood on the deck of the Happy II in the middle of Suva Harbour raising their hands in salute to the circling boat crews who returned the salute.
The event was also historical in that Mrs Punja was the first ever female rear Commodore of the RSYC.
Mr Hirst said the club would begin their weekly races next Sunday.