Norfolk sailor to receive RYA Award for contribution to sailing

Buckenham Sailing Club. Picture: Courtesy Janet Gilmour

Buckenham Sailing Club. Picture: Courtesy Janet Gilmour - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk resident and life member of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Aassociation (NSBA) is set to receive the 'CBE of the sailing world' for her contribution to boating on the Broads and the Eastern Region of the RYA as a whole.

Janet Gilmour is set to receive an RYA (Regional) Award on November 24. Picture: Courtesy Janet Gilm

Janet Gilmour is set to receive an RYA (Regional) Award on November 24. Picture: Courtesy Janet Gilmour - Credit: Archant

An RYA (Regional) Award, one of only three Regional Awards throughout the whole of the UK this year, will be conferred on Janet Gilmour by the Princess Royal on November 24.

Born and raised in Norfolk, Ms Gilmour, who lives near Bungay, was introduced to sailing by her uncle, Peter Seppings, while still a teenager. She said her involvement in the sport really took off while on a sailing holiday in Greece in the 1980s.

'One of the instructors, John Highton, had been a member of Buckenham Sailing Club and he suggested when I return I go to the club and join up, which I did.

'Everyone was very welcoming and I soon started sailing competitively.'

Described as 'the most modest and helpful of people' she was later invited to join the committee.

'I like getting involved in everything I do and they felt I had something to offer and I was pleased to accept.'

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She has been a member of the club for over 30 years, and has been a committee member since 1988. She also served as the club's sailing secretary in 1989-90 and was Vice Commodore in 1991 and Commodore in 1992 and is still their sailing secretary.

Having been a member of the NSBA General Purposes Committee for over 15 years, she is its longest serving member.

She became the principal organiser of the association's annual Broads Inter-Club Championship for the Ramuz Trophy and the event's continued success has been attributed to her role in devising new systems of allocating craft and qualification for the final.

Between 2001 and 2014, she was a member of the RYA Eastern Regional Committee.

Janet was a founder organiser of Buckenham Sailing Club's Triple B 30 mile passage race from Buckenham to Breydon and back on the River Yare in 1991. Since then she has started and finished almost every dingy, half-decker and production cruiser that has taken part in the race.

Jackie Howard, secretary at Buckenham Sailing Club said: 'All in all I don't know how we would manage without Janet. Every club should have a Janet. Her award is richly deserved.'