A Sprowston sailor has received a royal congratulations for her services to the sport on the Broads.

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Mollie Howes received an Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Community Award for lifetime achievement at the boating organisation’s annual Volunteer Awards ceremony in London. The 82-year-old was one of about 50 award winners from across the country to be presented with an award by the Princess Royal who is president of the RYA.

Mrs Howes was nominated by the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association and was chosen as a winner by the awards panel for her work over 50 years in supporting and managing sailing and racing on the Broads.

“I was surprised and delighted to win the award,” she said.

“I feel very honoured, especially because there are quite a lot of people who do a lot behind the scenes.

“My first insight into helping was timekeeping during the winter for the Snowflakes Sailing Club – and I am still doing it now. I have been doing it for 40 years.”

Over the years Mrs Howes, who has two children and four grandchildren, has been involved in many sailing organisations and events on the Broads. Mrs Howes and her late husband Derrick joined Horning Sailing Club and Snowflakes Sailing Club in 1969, and joined both clubs’ committees and served for many years. Mr Howes was race controller of the Three Rivers Race for 15 years, helped by Mrs Howes, and both of them were race officers at Thurne Mouth Open Regatta (TMOR) for many years. After Mr Howes died, Mrs Howes continued as a timekeeper at TMOR for a further 15 years and is still a trustee of the East Anglian Cruising Club. She was also a committee member of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association for more than 20 years and organised the annual Ramuz Trophy. She was secretary of the Vintage Wooden Boats Association for many years and is still a member of the committee. Outside the sailing world, Mrs Howes was a magistrate on the Norwich bench for 28 years.

Sarah Treseder, RYA chief executive, said: “The RYA is delighted to make this award in recognition of Mollie’s enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to the Broads boating scene.”

Do you know somebody celebrating a special achievement? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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