Local sailor David Musgrove from Torquay was presented with an RYA Outstanding Contribution Award on 21 November by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA at the organisation's annual Volunteer Awards ceremony held at London's One Great George Street.
A total of 43 voluntary awards were presented to winners hailing from across the UK and from as far afield as Cornwall and Argyll.
David was nominated for his award by the Disabled Sailing Association and was selected as a winner by the Awards panel for his work with the charity.
David founded the Disabled Sailing Association in 2005 with a group of people with disabilities who wanted to share the thrill and freedom of seagoing sailing. Initially he financed the charity himself but in his role as Chairman he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for the Association.
David, who is himself visually impaired, has used his leadership skills to cement invaluable relationships with local yacht clubs and harbour masters and he has forged strong friendships with all volunteers to whom he makes himself available 24/7. His efforts and perseverance have now had a positive impact providing sailing enjoyment to hundreds of people each year.
"I'm very, very pleased and feel honoured to have been selected for this award," said David. "It's not just for me - I'm so proud of my skippers and crew and all my volunteers -I'm just the head of the organisation. They tell me I work hard, but I love it. It was very nice of them to put me forward and I'm delighted to have met Princess Anne for a second time - she came and named our boat a few years ago and I have a lot of respect for her. We're hoping to get a second boat at the DSA next year, so maybe she will come down again …"
Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive says "The RYA is delighted to make this award in recognition of David's enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years' contribution to the south west region's boating scene. The 43 RYA winners are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication."
David and the other RYA Award winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.