Princess Anne presents Gainsborough sailor with prestigious award

Tony Baldock receives his lifetime commitment award from Princess Anne. (PHOTO BY: Paul Wyeth)
Tony Baldock receives his lifetime commitment award from Princess Anne. (PHOTO BY: Paul Wyeth)

A sailor from Gainsborough has been presented with a prestigious national award by Princess Anne in recegnition of his “exceptional generosity and commitment to boating at grassroots level”.

Tony Baldock was handed a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) lifetime commitment award to mark his work for Girton Sailing Club and also Lincolnshire Scouts.

The princess, who is president of the RYA, paid tribute to the invaluable contribution he has made to the Girton club, where he has been an active member for more than 20 years.

A senior instructor, Tony has supported numerous initiatives to get more people on the water, including RYA OnBoard, the national low-cost programme introducing schoolchildren to sailing, and RYA Sailability, which makes the sport accessive and inclusive for disabled people. Tony is also a Scout leader and water activities manager for the district.

James Allan, of the RYA, said: “Our sport genuinely would not exist if we didn’t have the cadre of volunteers, such as Tony, across the clubs and organisations.

“Without volunteers, clubs simply don’t happen, no matter what type of boating you’re involved in. Their commitment is so important. It’s the bedrock of everything our sport depends on in the UK.”

Tony was one of several winners across the country who were nominated for awards by their clubs and selected by the RYA’s honours and awards panel.

The RYA is boating’s national governing body, and the volunteer awards are considered to be the MBEs of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions in all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, powerboating, inland waterways and personal watercraft.