A sailor from Sutton has attended a glittering ceremony in London to pick up a prestigious boating award from HRH Princess Anne.
Martin Payne was presented with a Royal Yachting Association Outstanding Contribution Award at the ceremony on 21st November at London’s One Great George Street.
He was among 43 other award winners from all over the country to pick up the award from the Princess Royal who is president of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
Mr Payne scooped the award for being the driving force behind his club’s rejuvenated membership.
Mr Payne said: “Winning this award makes me very proud, and all the work I’ve done for the club seems worthwhile.”
Mr Payne kick-started a junior section ‘kids’ club’ and after working closely with the RYA, his club was awarded OnBoard status in recognition of its kids’ grass roots activities in 2012.
Now even parents are taking up sailing at the buoyant club.
My Payne added: “None of the things the club has achieved would have been possible, without the help from many other committed and dedicated members we have at our sailing club so I’d like to thank all the members that have helped me to achieve this award.
“Sailing for me takes me away from the stresses of everyday life.
“While racing that is all I think about.
“It’s also given me the opportunity to travel to some great places both in the UK and abroad, and meet some fantastic people.”
Brian Rennie from Girton, Nottinghamshire also won an award for his contribution to Girton Sailing Club in North Notts.
He said: “The sport gives me the excitement of challenging myself, physically and mentally, and competing with others.
“Although now over retirement age, I still enjoy competing at my own level.
“Dinghy racing presents a different set of challenges every time and, best of all, it is not possible to worry about anything else while doing it.
“My most pleasing contribution to sailing has been to play a part in my club’s management, as Commodore and now as Secretary, using the opportunity to get Sailability up and running.
“Playing a part in seeing the club into what are now the final stages of buying its lake and premises has also been particularly satisfying.”
Mr Payne and Mr Rennie were nominated for their awards by their respective clubs and selected as a winner by the awards panel.
The Nottinghamshire pair and their fellow RYA Award winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.
Sarah Treseder, RYA chief executive said: “The RYA is delighted to make these awards in recognition of Brian and Martin’s enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to the region’s boating scene.
“The winners are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication.”
The RYA is the national body for all forms of recreational, competitive and professional boating. It represents dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, inland cruising and personal watercraft. For more information on the RYA Awards www.rya.org.uk or for on boating in Nottinghamshire visit www.rya.org.uk/regions/eastmidlands