Yachting president Princess Anne presents award to Exmouth sailing volunteer for his dedication to the sport

Princess Anne has presented an award to an Exmouth sailing volunteer in recognition of his dedication to the sport at grassroots level.

Exe Sailing Club’s Nick Webber received an Outstanding Contribution award, presented by the Princess Royal, president of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

Fellow club volunteer Dave Preston, who died last summer, was recognised posthumously with a Lifetime Commitment award, at the annual RYA awards, held in London.


Dave Preston was recognised posthumously with a Lifetime Commitment award.
Photo: with permission.

Rob Clark, RYA Director of Sport Development, said: “It’s a pleasure to recognise their achievements”.

He added: “2021 has been another challenging year for sailing organisations with outdoor activity restarting and restrictions slowly lifting.

“More than ever volunteers are the backbone of our clubs and the wider boating community, and every single award winner has made an impact by sacrificing their time and expertise so others can enjoy being on the water.”

Nick, a member of Exe Sailing Club for 12 years, has been a ‘willing volunteer’ from his first day.

During his membership he has served as club secretary, an assistant instructor and ‘versatile’ skipper.

The RYA said: “He supports both youth sailing and the club’s Sailability activities.

“His skills, commitment and innovation have led to the creation of the River Exe Kayak Rally, raising thousands of pounds for Oxfam.

“His extraordinary combination of strengths has benefited hundreds of people.”

David Preston was a ‘great mentor’ and supporter of Exe Sailing Club over the past 20 years, the RYA said.

He taught many novice sailors, supported the club’s Girls Go Sailing programme and ran ‘excellent’ RYA powerboat, diesel and outboard engine maintenance courses.

The RYA said: “His natural communication skills made him a popular teacher, and he represented the club on the Lower Exe Moorings Association and the Exe Estuary Management Partnership.

“The club benefitted hugely from Dave’s outstanding commitment, knowledge and vision, and he is greatly missed.”

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