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RYA News Release - 31st October 2014

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A Walderslade sailor will receive one of the Royal Yachting Association's most prestigious awards from HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, next month in recognition of his huge contribution to the sport.

Wilsonian Sailing Club's Roy Winnett will be honoured with an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award at sailing's national governing body's annual awards ceremony in London on Friday 21 November.

Aged 83, Roy, still takes part in Wilsonian club racing most Sundays, often beating sailors half his age! But it is as an exceptional role model for all Wilsonian members he is recognised.

As well as holding all senior club committee posts since joining the club in 1994, he has helped transform the club through the work parties he has run for 12 years.

Roy, previously Sailing Secretary and Commodore at Medway Cruising Club too where he organised the club's racing programme, devotes days every weekend throughout January and February every year to marshall club members on repairs and maintenance in addition to all the forward planning.

Roy was nominated for his award by Wilsonian SC and selected as a winner by the RYA Awards panel. He will enjoy a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, and be presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.

Roy, who has sailed for over 60 years including with wife Kathleen, said: "As my children grew up, three girls and a boy, sailing is something the whole family got involved in, including friends and later partners too!

"Sailing can be a challenging and competitive sport which can be very enjoyable, especially when the sea is sparkling and a warm steady force 3 – 4 is blowing. While out sailing all life's problems and concerns are left ashore.

"All my activities associated with sailing have been a pleasure. Wilsonian SC is very fortunate in having many members contributing much time to the success of the club so being recognised with this award is appreciated."

As well as his club activities, Roy, still a keen table tennis player too, is well known throughout Medway's sailing community for producing the local race regatta race results and reports. He is committed to teaching the next generation how it is done.

Jeremy Drummond, who nominated Roy on behalf of Wilsonian SC, added: "Roy is absolutely passionate about the club and a very nice chap too.

"I am not sure how many hours he does for the club each year but it will be close to, if not above, what others do in a full time job. Roy will be the epitome of understatement on receiving this award but I am sure deep down it will make him very proud of his achievements."

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