No fewerthan eight South West sailors are to be presented with some of the RoyalYachting Association’s most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal,President of the RYA in recognition of their commitment to the sport of sailingand the organisations for which they volunteer. They will receive their awardsat the organisation’s annual awards ceremony in London on 22 November.
KenElsey, from Highnam, will receive a Lifetime Commitment Award. Ken hasbeen a pillar of the Frampton on Severn Sailing Club (FOSSC) for over fourdecades. As well as being an outstanding participant in the sport of dinghysailing at FOSSC, Ken has been at the forefront of the development of freshideas and initiatives and his achievements on the water have only been exceededby the amount of time, effort and skill he has put back into the club and hischosen sport.
BrianHall, from Long Ashton, is another Lifetime Commitment Award recipient. For 45years he has been an outstanding contributor to adult, youth and disabledsailing. A founder member of Avon Schools Sailing Association (ASSA) in 1974,he established Bristol Sailability and was responsible for making ASSA, now theWest of England Schools Sailing Association, a Recognised Training Centre. Whenthe Association took over the Baltic Wharf Sailing School, he played a crucialrole in its transformation into the All Aboard charity.
Ian,Sue, Sarah and Joe Hotchkiss, from Clevedon, will receive the Family Award fortheir dedication to Clevedon Sailing Club (CSC). Thefamily has been involved in the running of the club since 1947 when Ian’sparents, Bryon and Jean, founded it and played active roles. The family’scommitment to CSC and its day-to-day management and growth over the last 70years epitomises the concept of volunteering within the sport. They have helpedto guide and inform every aspect of its promotion and operation, and they areviewed with affection and appreciation by club members.
Paul Kimmens, from Swindon, will receive a National Award. Paulhas fulfilled many different roles at South Cerney Sailing Club and has beeninvolved in the training side of the club, leading many projects. A National Mark Layer who worked at the 2012 Olympics, anda Regional Race Officer and Judge, he also volunteers regularly at Weymouth andPortland National Sailing Academy, attends events throughout the UK andconducts Racing Rules and Race Officer courses. Friendly andapproachable, he is always the first to volunteer to help people, especially ifit gets them on the water. If something needs doing, Paul’s drive andenthusiasm make it happen.
BobPenfold, from Torquay, is another Lifetime Commitment awardwinner. Bob became a member ofRoyal Torbay Yacht Club (RTYC) in 2008, having previously undertaken many rolesat South Cerney Sailing Club where he contributed to its development for almosttwo decades, serving two terms as Commodore. Always thefriendly face at RTYC, Bob encourages volunteers to getinvolved and warmly welcomes new members. He has been a linchpin, serving in avariety of crucial roles, and as Commodore he has brought financial stabilityto the club, laying the foundations for its current success, which ultimatelyled to it being awarded RYA Club of the Year in 2019.
Many congratulations toall of them as they receive these ‘MBEs’ for our sport – they, and other committedvolunteers up and down the country, are maintaining and developing sailingclubs and keeping boating sports vibrant for future generations.