A LOCAL sailor has been presented with one of the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA, at the organisation’s annual awards.
Ogston Sailing Club’s Harry Loftus Pye was awarded with a Lifetime Commitment Award, for individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation.
Harry was nominated for his award by his sailing club and selected as a winner by the Awards panel for his work. For over 47 years, Harry, who learned to sail on holiday in Devon in the 1950s, has worked to develop, improve and maintain all aspects of Ogston SC at Ashover.
He has been an active member of the club’s committee, as Commodore in the mid-1970s and was elected as the club’s President in 2010.
In the 1970s, Harry was involved in setting up the club’s junior fleet to enable young people to begin sailing at the club. He also became a senior instructor and teaches at the ‘Learn to Sail’ classes.
Recently, Harry has used a combination of his technical skills and a friendly, practical hands-on approach to develop the Tuesday club team, which maintains the safety boats as well as improving and maintaining the club’s buildings, grounds and pontoons.
He said: “To be recognised for doing something I enjoy so much has been a great surprise, and almost an embarrassment. I had not realised that Ogston Sailing Club thought so highly of me! I feel very honoured to receive this award, and hope it also brings credit to the club I love.
“My wife, Lorna, and I have sailed in different parts of the country and have always enjoyed the company of members of the sailing fraternity, whether cruising or racing. We have made new friends with this mutual interest and love of the water. There are not many sports where you can still get an adrenalin rush at any age.”
Harry enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of The Princess Royal and was presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.
Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive said: “The RYA is delighted to make this RYA Volunteer Award in recognition of Harry’s enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to the region’s sailing scene.
“All 48 RYA winners are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their sheer hard work and commitment through these awards.”