A VOLUNTEER at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club in Rhu has been named ‘volunteer of the year’ at the Royal Yachting Association’s annual awards for Scotland.

Craig MacDonald was honoured for the delivery of the sailing programme at the Blind Match Racing World Championships, hosted by the RNCYC last year.

Craig was presented with his prize at the RYA Scotland annual awards at Kip Marina on Saturday.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. The Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club has nine identical Sonar Keelboats which allow us to do team and match racing. I got involved because it creates an interesting and really great pathway from students doing dinghy team racing into international profile events.”

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“Our teams competes in events across Europe and America, the British Keelboat League and Match Racing events. Once on this pathway I then began helping organise events.

Reflecting on the event in September, which saw the world’s best visually-impaired sailors compete in the waters off Helensburgh, Craig said: “They were really inspiring, brave and amazing people to work with.

“Within the club we had a great set of volunteer members helping and I certainly learnt how important it is to have teams of volunteers and it is a credit to the overall team we have at the RNCYC that I received this award.”

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Saturday’s ceremony also saw the presentation of the RYA Scotland Lifetime Commitment Award to Helensburgh resident Terence Brownrigg, a former RNCYC commodore, recognising his decades of work as an international sailing judge.

Terence said: “I am very proud, but I am also very humble as there are many others in Scotland who are more deserving than me.

“I never followed this path for recognition, rather because I enjoyed what I was doing and was able to put something back for the sport which I love.

“To those who are racing, think about how many people spend their time to help you to enjoy yourself – from those laying the marks to those compiling the results, raising flags or keeping time.

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“You are never too early or young to volunteer. The more you do, the more you learn and I am sure your club will be only too pleased to have another volunteer.

“To those presently volunteering, try and mentor the less experienced to ensure there is a succession of well-trained people in your club. It is a duty to ensure the sport is there for future generations and through sharing your knowledge you never know where your path will lead you.

“Thank you again to RYA Scotland, as after all, I am getting this award for doing something which has given me much pleasure, some marvellous experiences, taken me to some wonderful places and perhaps most importantly given the opportunity to make many very good friends.”