A VOLUNTEER is on a crest of a wave after his contribution to the Weymouth sailing and boating community, inspiring the next generation of sailors, was recognised.

Stephen Staple received an Outstanding Contribution accolade from Royal Yachting Association President Princess Anne at the association's 2023 Volunteer Awards held in London.

Mr Staple became Youth on Boats (YOBs) co-ordinator at Weymouth Sailing Club five years ago.

He is said to have remoulded the format and reinvigorated the cadet section and there is now a waiting list.

The RYA described Mr Staple as an "outstanding role model; kind, funny and an all-round great example to the younger generations of sailors he is training and inspiring".

Commenting on his award, he said: “I was totally shocked as it was out of the blue.

"Even though I run YOBs I have a great team of helpers that make it possible, so I feel it’s just as much as a recognition for their efforts of teaching and getting youngsters from many backgrounds onto the water and learning to sail and race. And to watch some of them from the age of ten as complete novices to watching them race adults in club races five or six years later is very rewarding.”

RYA CEO Sara Sutcliffe said: “Our sport relies so much on the goodwill and skills of volunteers at every level, without whom the opportunities to get involved in boating would be greatly reduced.

"They are very often the first point of contact for new participants across the nations and regions, and can help to motivate a lifetime’s interest, or inspire others to train for fulfilling careers across the marine industry.

“It’s so humbling to hear of the many examples of selfless commitment our award recipients have shown – in many cases spanning decades – and they represent many thousands more who give their time to support boating in whatever way, great or small. Our grateful thanks go to them all.”

A total of 81 accolades were given this year at the 2023 RYA Volunteer Awards, recognising the outstanding dedication and commitment made by volunteers of all ages and from all corners of the UK.