A SAILOR who has spent years as a voluntary dinghy instructor has been given a lifetime achievement award by the Royal Yachting Association.
Richard Young, from Pevensey Bay Sailing School, was given the prestigious prize at a prestigious ceremony in London earlier this week – with HRH the Princess Royal, who is also president of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) – handing over his award.
Mr Young was nominated by the local sailing club and was selected, alongside 47 other winners nationally, by a panel of nautical experts.
He has worked in the local area since the mid-1980s and helped set up the sailing school he still helps out at after the original club closed down in 1997.
Part of that job was collecting the necessary equipment, much of it funded from his own pocket, and arranging to get boats repaired and maintained over winter months.
Thanks largely to his hard work the new sea school was able to open in time for the 1998 season and also achieved RYA Training Centre status.
Since that time his dedication and commitment have ensured that the sea school continues to thrive.
Sailing school principal for a number of years and now a senior instructor, his encouragement for others to train as instructors has provided a continual supply of skilled local instructors which has contributed greatly to the success of the school.
Sarah Treseder, RYA chief executive, said, “The RYA is delighted to make this RYA Volunteer Award in recognition of the sailors’ enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to the south east’s sailing scene.
“He has been an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate his sheer hard work and commitment through this award.”