than eight South West sailors are to be presented with some of the Royal
Yachting Association’s most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal,
President of the RYA in recognition of their commitment to the sport of sailing
and the organisations for which they volunteer. They will receive their awards
at the organisation’s annual awards ceremony in London on 22 November.
Elsey, from Highnam, will receive a Lifetime Commitment Award. Ken has
been a pillar of the Frampton on Severn Sailing Club (FOSSC) for over four
decades. As well as being an outstanding participant in the sport of dinghy
sailing at FOSSC, Ken has been at the forefront of the development of fresh
ideas and initiatives and his achievements on the water have only been exceeded
by the amount of time, effort and skill he has put back into the club and his
Hall, from Long Ashton, is another Lifetime Commitment Award recipient. For 45
years he has been an outstanding contributor to adult, youth and disabled
sailing. A founder member of Avon Schools Sailing Association (ASSA) in 1974,
he established Bristol Sailability and was responsible for making ASSA, now the
West of England Schools Sailing Association, a Recognised Training Centre. When
the Association took over the Baltic Wharf Sailing School, he played a crucial
role in its transformation into the All Aboard charity.
Sue, Sarah and Joe Hotchkiss, from Clevedon, will receive the Family Award for
their dedication to Clevedon Sailing Club (CSC). The
family has been involved in the running of the club since 1947 when Ian’s
parents, Bryon and Jean, founded it and played active roles. The family’s
commitment to CSC and its day-to-day management and growth over the last 70
years epitomises the concept of volunteering within the sport. They have helped
to guide and inform every aspect of its promotion and operation, and they are
viewed with affection and appreciation by club members.
Paul Kimmens, from Swindon, will receive a National Award. Paul
has fulfilled many different roles at South Cerney Sailing Club and has been
involved in the training side of the club, leading many projects. A National Mark Layer who worked at the 2012 Olympics, and
a Regional Race Officer and Judge, he also volunteers regularly at Weymouth and
Portland National Sailing Academy, attends events throughout the UK and
conducts Racing Rules and Race Officer courses. Friendly and
approachable, he is always the first to volunteer to help people, especially if
it gets them on the water. If something needs doing, Paul’s drive and
enthusiasm make it happen.
Penfold, from Torquay, is another Lifetime Commitment awardwinner. Bob became a member of
Royal Torbay Yacht Club (RTYC) in 2008, having previously undertaken many roles
at South Cerney Sailing Club where he contributed to its development for almost
two decades, serving two terms as Commodore. Always the
friendly face at RTYC, Bob encourages volunteers to get
involved and warmly welcomes new members. He has been a linchpin, serving in a
variety of crucial roles, and as Commodore he has brought financial stability
to the club, laying the foundations for its current success, which ultimately
led to it being awarded RYA Club of the Year in 2019.
Many congratulations to
all of them as they receive these ‘MBEs’ for our sport – they, and other committed
volunteers up and down the country, are maintaining and developing sailing
clubs and keeping boating sports vibrant for future generations.