A HARD-WORKING Ponteland sailor was recognised by royalty for his outstanding dedication and achievements in boating.
Royal Yachting Association (RYA) North East Committee member David Darling was presented with an RYA Regional Award for his services to the North East.
Mr Darling, who has been an active and valued member of the sailing community in the area for more than 40 years, began the sport in the North East at Tynemouth Sailing Club in the 1960s and was a founder member of Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club in the 1970s.
He received his accolade from HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA.
“I am extremely pleased to have received the RYA Regional Award and yet there are many others whom I consider should also have such recognition,” he said.
“I have made lifetime friends all over the country and, while I have been amazed at the technical developments in the sport in recent years, the fact remains that sailing is still a sport that can be enjoyed by anyone who would like to take it up.”
Also rewarded for their hard work and dedication in the North East were Steve Gibbon from Kielder Water Sailing Club and Des Topping from Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club.
Steve received an Outstanding Contribution accolade and Des was awarded a Lifetime Commitment medal, although he was unable to travel to the ceremony in London in person so he will get it at a later date.
RYA Chief Executive Sarah Treseder said: “The RYA is delighted to present these awards to David, Steve and Des in recognition of their enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to our UK sailing scene.
“All 48 RYA winners on the night are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their sheer hard work and commitment through these awards.”
The RYA is the national body for all forms of recreational, competitive and professional boating.