RUTLAND SAILORS HONOURED BY HRH THE PRINCESS ROYAL
Four Rutland sailors were presented with two of the Royal Yachting Association's most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, at the organisation's annual awards ceremony at London's One Great George Street on Friday (23rd November).
Rutland Sailing Club stalwart Derrick Young was awarded with an Outstanding Contribution Award, while long-term club members, the Langford family – father, Richard, mother Irene and son, Ed – won the inaugural RYA Family Award.
A total of 56 voluntary awards were presented to winners hailing from across the UK from as far afield as Cornwall to Argyll.
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Derrick, who learned to sail almost 60 years ago and built his first boat age 15, is committed to introducing people to boats and sailing. He is unstintingly enthusiastic and generous with the time he dedicates to the club and can be found at Rutland SC nearly every Thursday evening and most weekends, assisting with maintenance, repairs and offering an ear and advice to members. Alongside his commitments to Rutland SC, Derrick, from Oadby, has been involved with the RNLI for over half a century and has been chairman of the RNLI Leicester branch for 15 years, during which time he has been instrumental in funding six lifeboats.
Meanwhile the Langford family was recognised for the impact they have made both as individuals and collectively. Their contribution supports the aims of the RYA at club, national and international level and all three play an active role at their club. Richard, Irene and Ed all held senior volunteer roles at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic regattas this year.
Richard has served the RYA for 20 years, including four years' as the governing body's Chairman from 2007-2011, using his sense of fair play and an open approach to influence and direct affairs. Irene is a founder member of Rutland SC's thriving 'Ladies that Launch' group while also volunteering her time for a number of years at international racing events. Meanwhile student, Ed, is passionate about racing and is as comfortable in a RIB providing safety cover as in a boat instructing beginners.
Derrick said: "I've always wanted to give other people the opportunity to enjoy sailing as I've done all my life while giving something back to the sport. Sailing gives confidence and the experience of freedom out in the open but with no great physical skill needed, which means everyone can take part. You work with other people and it requires discipline. This is a great honour. You don't do things to get awards but when you have been involved for so long it is lovely to be recognised in this way."
Richard said: "It was very much a surprise, it's a family award, it's never been awarded and we arrived not knowing anything about the award! We have obviously all been involved in sailing and we do get involved as a family, which is really nice. I think the award is a fantastic idea as lots of families are in a similar position to us and do enjoy the sport, and do enjoy volunteering to help the sport."
Derrick and the Langford family, along with the other RYA Award winners, enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal and were presented with commemorative medallions and certificates.
Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive said "The RYA is delighted to make these awards in recognition of Derrick and the Langford family's enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years' contribution to the East Midlands' boating scene. The 56 RYA winners are an inspiration and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication."
For more information about sailing in the East Midlands visit www.rya.org.uk/regions/eastmidlands