David (55) was nominated by friends and colleagues at Ullswater Yacht Club, who paid tribute to the decades of service, hard work and enthusiasm he has contributed to build the success of the Club and the enjoyment of sailing for others, with all of his time and effort being offered on a voluntary basis.

His story won over the competition’s panel of judges, which included the editor of Yachting Life Magazine and the Old Pulteney brand team, who unanimously picked David as the overall 2016 winner from a strong field of deserving entries and finalists from around the UK. 

To reward and celebrate David’s achievement, Old Pulteney presented him with a prize cheque for £1,000, a personalised crystal whisky decanter, and a bottle of Old Pulteney 21 Year Old. As a finalist, David has already received a club prize of £1,000 to give to Ullswater Yacht Club, and a commemorative trophy. Clubs were invited to nominate any members they felt deserved recognition within one of the following three categories: Club Service, Bravery or Sailing Achievement. 

David was nominated in the Club Service category for his role as Centre Principal & Director of Ullswater Yacht Club, and for the outstanding level of commitment he has given to the Club throughout his life, particularly for his work in setting up the thriving Ullswater Sailing School.

David, who lives near Darlington, first visited Ullswater Yacht Club as a child with his parents during holidays in the early 1970s, before joining as a teenager in 1975. He became a keen sailor, sailing all over the UK and competing regularly in events, as well as volunteering at both the 2011 Test Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympics. 

His history with the club is not only professional but personal too, as he met his wife Clare there whilst sailing when they were both teenagers. All three of their children, Alex, Edmund and Freya, grew up at Ullswater Yacht Club, and are now sailing instructors, continuing the volunteering tradition, just like their father. 

David is delighted and commented: ‘I am thrilled to win the Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Awards. It is an honour, although the win is really in recognition of all our member volunteers who have worked so hard to make the Sailing School so successful, and Ullswater Yacht Club such a great club.’

Ullswater Yacht Club Commodore Peter Lewis said: ‘As Ullswater Yacht Club enters a challenging time we are very proud that David has received this award for all his work to establish and develop Ullswater Sailing School. We are looking forward to an exciting future for the Club and I am sure that the school will go from strength to strength with the leadership of our own ‘maritime hero.’