Three Falmouth sailing volunteers have been presented with a prestigious national award by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), in recognition of their exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level.

Stephen Nicholls, who volunteers with Mylor Yacht Club, the Port of Falmouth Sailing Association and Flushing Sailing Club received a Lifetime Commitment award from HRH the Princess Royal, president of the RYA at its annual awards held at One Great George Street, London on Friday November 19.

John and Liz Maunder, also from Flushing Sailing Club, were unable to attend the ceremony, but received an Outstanding Contribution award.

Falmouth Packet: Stephen Nicholls. Picture: Paul WyethStephen Nicholls. Picture: Paul Wyeth

Stephen joined Mylor Yacht Club in 1995, gradually becoming more involved with club activities and volunteering whenever things needed to be done.

He served on the House and Sailing Committees and was Commodore in 2002-2004 and 2019.

He was also Chairman of the Port of Falmouth Sailing Association for five years, co-ordinating the activities of all the clubs in the Port and organising a variety of events.

His calm, friendly approach, and his view that sailing should be fun for all, afloat and ashore, are reflected in his exceptional commitment.

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John and Liz have been members of Flushing Sailing Club since 1994 and volunteers for the last 15 years.

They are an indomitable team, contributing enormously to getting racing going in Falmouth in 2020 following the first pandemic lockdown.

The impact of their combined efforts is immeasurable, enhancing the club’s reputation, encouraging new members and providing uplifting experiences to the community.

Rob Clark, RYA Director of Sport Development said: "2021 has been another challenging year for sailing organisations with outdoor activity restarting and restrictions slowly lifting.

Falmouth Packet: Liz & John MaunderLiz & John Maunder

"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.

"It’s a pleasure to recognise their achievements."

The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards recognise the outstanding contribution made by volunteers throughout the UK.

Not only rewarding the longest-standing volunteers but also families, committed youngsters and most importantly, those that have had an impact.