A South Witham sailor is due to receive a prestigious Royal Yachting Association award later this month in recognition of his huge contribution to the sport.
Howard Nelson will be honoured with an RYA Regional award which will be presented the president of the RYA, HRH The Princess Royal, at sailing’s national governing body’s annual awards ceremony in London on November 21.
He was nominated for his award 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.
Howard has been pivotal in the growth in popularity of sailing across the East Midlands over the past 20 years, not only in helping to drive participation for all through his involvement in Hykeham Sailing Club, the Lincoln and District Sailing Association (LDSA), Hykeham Sailability and Lincolnshire Scouts, but also in his 11-year tenure on the RYA East Midlands regional committee, including five years as chairman.
He learnt to sail at Ruston SC, now Hykeham SC, in Lincoln with his father.
Howard said: “I am very proud to receive this award. Sailing has given me so much, not least the opportunity to help others learn to sail – and meeting my wife, Michelle.
“Sailing is such a great sport to be involved in because you’re outdoors, with great people and you cannot beat the sound of the boat cutting through the waves using just the natural elements to propel you.”
As well as his roles within Lincolnshire, Howard has also held key posts at Tonbridge Town SC in Kent, Hollowell SC in Northamptonshire, and Longridge Scout Boating Centre in Buckinghamshire. He has been Treasurer at Rutland SC since 2012.
Roger Day, current RYA East Midlands chair who nominated his predecessor, said: “What makes Howard exceptional is the depth of his involvement, all in his own time and often at his own cost.”
For more information on the RYA Volunteer Awards visit www.rya.org.uk or to find out more about boating in Lincolnshire, visit www.rya.org.uk/regions/eastmidlands