THE commodore of Papercourt Sailing Club says he was “stunned and delighted” after the Ripley-based organisation were crowned king of the waters on Saturday.
Peter Wadham was left open mouthed after Papercourt was announced as the winner of the Royal Yachting Association’s Club of the Year award.
He said: “We are absolutely thrilled. It’s a fantastic club and really is a credit to all those who work so hard making a success of sailing at Papercourt.
“The award is testament to the enthusiasm members voluntarily put in all year round, not just organising sailing but also running the estate which is a valued benefit to the local community.”
Team GB’s Kate Macgregor was on hand to present the award at London’s Alexandra Palace on the weekend.
Ripley’s popular club, home to 1,200 members, was picked as overall winner from a five-strong shortlist of finalists.
The win caps a wonderful year for the club who secured a legacy for sailing in the area by successful bidding to buy the 45 acres lake on which it has sailed for more than 50 years. Peter now hopes the club will hold even more sway in the immediate community.
“We hope more local people will now think about taking up sailing and seeing what Papercourt can offer them with our programme of training, racing and social events.
“It wasn’t an over night success and we can’t forget that any success we have now is built on the shoulders of our predecessors.”
Jackie Bennetts, who coordinates RYA Club of the Year added: “Papercourt Sailing Club are very worthy winners of this year’s award.
“They have demonstrated exceptional ability bringing club members together while continuing to run a full and very varied programme of events. In doing so they have secured this site for future sailors both young and old to enjoy.”