Terence Brownrigg, has made a significant mark as a competitor and official within racing in Scotland and around the World as an International Judge and offshore yachtsman. This year he retires as the RYA Rules Adviser in Scotland with 2019 becoming his 30th year as an International Judge, showing a real commitment to the sport which has been highlighted by many in the Scottish sailing community.

On receiving the news of the award he laughed and said, “And I only joined the club to play squash!”

Terence actually started crewing in the Dragon One Design Class, racing on the Clyde through the Royal Northern YC after an invitation from a friend Gilmour Manuel. This he continued for about a decade or so before he moved into the Flying Fifteen Class. He named his first Flying Fifteen, Fiskery, a name which has endured throughout his sailing career, most notably as a quarter tonner which won the 1978 Tomatin Trophy.


His offshore career was also highly successful, if brief, as he sailed on the overall winner, Rabbit, in the 1965 Fastnet Race with the role of navigator. It was a short lived career of offshore racing as the rest of his ocean adventures being at his own pace as a cruiser, completing six trans-Atlantics and culminated in the Round the World Rally of 1997/98 in a larger version of Fiskery, a Warwick 46. Terrence attended several courses including the RYA Oceanbased course, purely for interest and is always very keen to learn, after all as he says. “Every day’s a school day!”


In volunteering roles Terence has held the roles of Rear Commodore Sailing, Vice Commodore and Commodore for the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club, while also sitting upon numerous committees including the Clyde Yacht Clubs Association executive and handicap committees for many years.

Terence has held a particularly special connection within the 8 metre class throughout his involvement as an official and this has led to him attend too numerous championships to recollect, however he was prepared to count the many polo shirts he has collected to check just how many.


“The people who are already officiating are happy to act as mentors as they have been through it and learnt from their mistakes and happy to share their knowledge.” He also notes, “It is incumbent on the older generation to get the younger generation involved.”

To both extents Terence has been able to do this and the recent appointment of Niall McLeod at RYA Racing Services Manager has all the hallmarks of gentle persuasion that Terrence has deployed. Niall, originally from Tarbert, said. “Terrence encouraged me when I showed an interest in the rules and he helped me to get involved in my first few events which really kick started my career as a National Judge. I owe a lot to Terrence.”


Terence adds. “Personally, I have a huge debt of gratitude to Stavely Roberts who got me interested in judges, which has been thoroughly enjoyable over the years, ok there’s is the odd occasion when you please nobody, as far as I am concerned I have travelled widely and made some great friends.”

One aspect of developing the racing rules Terence was particularly keen to promote and said. “To encourage arbitration to resolve rules disputes to avoid the more confrontational and formal protest hearings, and perhaps learn more about the rules from officials.”


Fellow International Judge said Chris Watts at World Sailing said, “Terence has always been very sharp in picking up problems or idiosyncrasies in the rules and even with the judge renewal exam. He has brought on and advised other judges and umpires and helped them to develop. He acted as the Regional Rules Adviser for Scotland until just recently assisting in the organisation of several National Judge Seminars held in Scotland and was a regular attendee at National Conferences. I have always had a lot of respect for Terence as an International Judge, enjoyed his sense of humour and admired his spirit for getting things organised. I and many others would support any award which he is being considered for.”

Terence Brownrigg will receive a Lifetime Commitment Award at the RYA Scotland Annual Awards in January and we hope to share some further gems of wisdom from Terrence over the coming months.

If you are interested in becoming a race official it could simply start by heading down to your local club and seeing if they need a hand or visit the page below for updates for Race Officials in Scotland: