He received the award from HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA at the organisation’s annual Volunteer Awards ceremony held at London’s One Great George Street on 21 November.
Bob was nominated for his award by members of West Lancashire Yacht Club and was selected as a winner by the Awards panel for his 25 years in sailing, teaching both adults and juniors to sail as well as competing at international level in the Laser and Enterprise.
A Liverpudlian by birth, Bob jokes it was sailing that persuaded him to 'emigrate' to Southport and get his visa to stay. That sense of homour helps him communicate with novice sailors and put them at their ease.
As a qualified RYA senior dinghy instructor and racing coach, when he joined West Lancashire Yacht Club, he immediately became involved with junior training, taking over as senior instructor teaching youngsters from the age of four to 16 in fleets of Optimists, Toppers and Mirrors.
As an OnBoard sailing instructor, Bob has also introduced many families to sailing who have then become members of the club. This was instrumental in the club winning the RYA OnBoard Club of the Year for the North West Region in 2012.
Bob has a never-ending enthusiasm for sailing and has committed a huge amount of his time sailing. Almost every weekend he can be found instructing, sorting out boat maintenance or coaching the juniors in regular club racing, as well as supporting teams at away events. This means of course, that he has less time for sailing his Enterprise, although he continues as a class association’s measurer.
His philosophy that ‘kids have fun’ on the water and his endless patience have earned him the moniker ‘Uncle Bob’ and is also an indication of the high regard in which he is held.