Bembridge sailor Mike Samuelson, a former Royal Marine, will be presented with one of the Royal Yachting Association’s most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA in recognition of commitment to the RYA’s South Region.
He has been nominated for an RYA Regional Award by the RYA’s South Region Volunteer Team and has been selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. He will receive his award at the organisation’s annual awards ceremony in London on November 16.
Mike said of his nomination “I was very surprised – but of course delighted – when I heard that I had been nominated for an RYA Volunteer Award. I have always enjoyed being involved in training and being able to pass on my boating knowledge and experiences to others.
“The East Wight is a brilliant sailing area and I have always felt very privileged to have settled so happily in the area.”
Mike joined Bembridge Sailing Club in 1960 as a cadet and after a distinguished career in the Marines took over as the club secretary in early 1996. He has fulfilled many key club and Island roles, and has been the East Wight RYA South Region Representative for more than six years, providing in particular, valuable local knowledge to the RYA on Marine Conservation Zone issues.
As the Hon Secretary of the Bembridge Harbour Users Group since its formation 15 years ago, he has helped to preserve access for boaters to Bembridge. As Bembridge SC’s secretary he introduced and ran training courses, and engaged instructors. He ensured sufficient RIBs and support boats safeguarded young sailors and insisted that all sailors, however experienced, wore buoyancy aids when necessary.
He was the club’s chief instructor from 2000 to 2014, as well as the race co-ordinator and regular race officer for the club’s keelboat and Illusion racing.
Mike also found time to be a deputy launching authority for Bembridge Lifeboat from 2004 to 2012, and lifeboat operations manager from 2012 to 2017. He is currently the Lifeboat press officer, a member of the local Visits Team, Education Team and Community Safety Team.
As a new task this year he has also become a visits guide at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre in East Cowes. Mike’s endeavours have helped countless people to learn to sail safely and enjoy the sport at all levels.
For more information about how to get out on the water in the South region visit www.rya.org.uk/go/startboating