Ken Gutteridge from Pilkington Sailing Club, St Helens, had been very surprised when told he was to be presented with an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award by the President of the RYA.

"I was very honoured when asked to be on the top table," said Ken.

 Ken was nominated for his Lifetime Committment award by members of Pilkington Sailing Club and was selected as a winner by the Awards panel for his 40 years of service to boating.

He started sailing in the early 1970's, mainly in the Enterprise class in which he won several trophies.

He has encouraged other people to take to the water ever since.  By running sail training courses each summer, taster sessions for schools and as a qualified Yachtmaster, skippering yachts offshore as far as the Greek Islands, he has introduced hundreds of people to the pleasures of sailing and inspired many youngsters to join Pilkington Sailing Club.

Ken has served the club’s general committee for over three decades. As Commodore he steered the club through its critical transition from a subsidised social club to a self financing club, organising many fund raising activities and social events which have ensured its survival.

Around the club he has always been prepared to take on any task, from clearing up to welcoming new people. "I find the youngsters so appreciative when we run taster days," he says.Ken, together with his wife Hilda, prove that age is no barrier to racing competitively at club level and successfully race their Enterprise, ‘Paper Plane’ and are still picking up trophies!

Ken and the other RYA Award winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, and were each presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.