Sailors celebrated in The King’s Birthday Honours List

Two dedicated individuals were recognised for their outstanding contributions to sailing.
20 Jun 23
Portrait of Pete Allam

Peter Allam, an esteemed sailor, is to receive an MBE by the King for his achievements, while Bob Harper, a passionate volunteer with over 20 years of service, was also named in the prestigious Birthday Honours list.

Olympic medallist to MBE 

Peter Allam expressed his surprise and gratitude upon receiving the title. He remarked, "I was truly taken aback by the news. It was a whirlwind of emotions, and I feel immensely privileged that others have recognised my efforts and put my name forward.Peter, a skilled boat builder and accomplished sailor, proudly represented the UK at the America's Cup and Olympics, earning a Bronze Medal in the Flying Dutchman Class during the 1984 Games. He has represented Great Britain four times in the same class and achieved his greatest feat in the 1984 Los Angeles Games alongside Joe Richards.

Even after retiring as an athlete, Peter continued to make significant contributions to the sport. He was appointed to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Sailing Competition Management Team for 2012, successfully organising highly acclaimed Olympic and Paralympic Regattas. His expertise has since been sought by organising committees for subsequent Games, a testament to his invaluable knowledge and experience.

In 2013, Peter took on the role of CEO at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), with a vision to establish it as the leading centre of excellence for sailing in the UK. His efforts resulted in attracting both world and national championships to Dorset, enhancing the academy's reputation as a premier sailing destination.

Peter's passion for inclusivity led to his instrumental role in the formation of Chesil Sailability in 2013. Through Chesil Sailability, sailors with a disability are able to embrace the sport, experiencing life-changing moments on the water. Reflecting on his involvement, Peter expressed, "It is incredibly rewarding to be a part of facilitating such transformative experiences."

Dedicated volunteer receives royal recognition

Bob Harper from Carrickfergus is honoured for two decades of dedicated sailing volunteer work. As RYA Sailability Co-ordinator, he established three clubs and five centres, bringing sailing joy to disabled individuals in Northern Ireland. Bob's advocacy and support have continued to create opportunities and initiatives.

Greg Yarnall, Chief Executive Officer of RYA Northern Ireland, congratulated Bob, saying: “I am delighted that Bob has been recognised with an MBE for all of the hard work he has done for our sport. His enthusiasm is a shining example of all that is good about sailing and our dedicated volunteers.

Bob said: “My initial thoughts when I found out about it were of the many, many volunteers who supported me. This is the recognition of the work that countless volunteers have done over the years – without them, none of it could have happened. I was just the figure head for the whole thing.”  

Read more about Bob Harper’s story.

Sara Sutcliffe, RYA CEO comments “The RYA would like to congratulate both Pete Allam and Bob Harper on their honours in the King’s Birthday Honours List.  Their unwavering dedication, passion, and commitment in different ways have left a lasting impact on the sailing community. Pete's exceptional contributions and leadership, both on and off the water, have been truly remarkable. From being an Olympic medallist to competition management roles at the London 2012 sailing competition and then over the last decade as Chief Executive Officer of the WPNSA. Meanwhile, Bob's selfless volunteer work in Northern Ireland has brought the joy of sailing to numerous individuals, ensuring accessibility for all. Congratulations to them both for this well-deserved recognition”.