John Smith from Waldringfield received a Lifetime Commitment Award after being nominated by Waldringfield Sailing Club and selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. He was presented with his Award at One Great George Street, London on Friday 22 November.

The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBEs' of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions across all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, motor cruising, inland waterways and personal watercraft.

Watch a video of the awards here

Although quiet and unassuming, John has played a very active role in the running of Waldringfield Sailing Club for over 20 years, not only running the safety team but also helping with the upkeep and compliance of the boats. He is one of the Club’s most experienced safety boat drivers, and additionally is an enthusiastic and able sailing and powerboat instructor. 

John said: “The Awards Ceremony was an interesting day. I was very honoured to meet HRH the Princess Royal and I enjoyed meeting the other award winners.”

Nominations are now invited for the 2020 RYA volunteer awards, visit