MIK Chappell normally seeks publicity for Bassenthwaite Sailing Club, but found himself in the spotlight when he was presented with one of the RYA’s most prestigious honours.
He received the RYA Lifetime Award from Princess Anne, president of the RYA, at the organisation’s annual volunteer awards ceremony held in London. “I was very honoured,” said Mik.
A total of 43 voluntary awards were presented to winners from across the UK. Mik was nominated for the award by members of Bassenthwaite Sailing Club and was selected as a winner for being an ambassador for sailing over 25 years.
He started sailing with the club in 1979 and represented it in numerous regional and national sailing events. He served as rear, vice and commodore between 2003 and 2008.
Mainly, though, his work with the club has focused on obtaining publicity through local media. That is something he has extended to another club of which he is a member, Whitehaven Sailing and Boating Association. At Bassenthwaite he has also edited the club magazine.
Mik has also been Mirror fleet captain since 2003 and the continued success of the Mirror fleet at Bassenthwaite is testament to his commitment and hard work.
Mik’s vision for the future of the club and the sport of sailing has focused on training — he was a crucial part of the team that achieved RYA training centre and champion club status. In the club’s recommendation for the award Mik is described as a “willing horse”, leading by example, and a “doer” – always the first to offer help and advice and invariably the first to arrive and the last to leave the club.
He has influenced on-water safety by encouraging members and staff to enhance their powerboat and safety boat skills.
Sarah Treseder, RYA chief executive, said: “The RYA is delighted to make this award in recognition of Mike’s enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to the north west region’s boating scene.
“The 43 RYA winners are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication.”
Mik and the other RYA award winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of Princess Anne, and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.