The volunteers were nominated for their awards by their clubs and selected as winners by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. They will be presented 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.

The award winners are:

Francis Elkin Award

  • Jan & Richard Gaskell, Westbere Sailing Opportunities and Westbere Frostbite Sailing Association

Lifetime Commitment Awards:

  • Juliet Brecknell, Chichester Yacht Club
  • Clive Eplett, Frensham Pond Sailing Club
  • Richard Hart, Dockland Scout Project
  • Richard, Hayden, The Mariners of Bewl
  • Bruce Hebbert, British Schools Dinghy Racing Association
  • Mary Makey, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club

Outstanding Contribution Awards:

  • Alan Markham, Upper Thames Sailing Club
  • Jeremy Riley, Papercourt Sailing Club
  • David Tugwell, Datchet Water Sailing Club
  • Tony Woods, Queen Mary Sailing Club

Richard Hart’s response on hearing that he had been selected for the award was echoed by many of the volunteers. He said: “On opening the letter, I was somewhat lost for words, humbled, honoured, proud all came mind. I have and still do thoroughly enjoy working with so many people young and old who want to help others enjoy water activities.”

The photo shows winners at a previous awards ceremony.

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/volunteerawards