AN Anglesey sailor has been presented with one of the Royal Yachting Association’s most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal in recognition of his commitment to North Wales sailing.
Stephen Norris first went sailing at Red Wharf Bay on family holidays, before moving to the area and spending more than 40 years involved in many roles at the club, helping it to survive and grow while developing young talent to succeed at national and international level.
The 63-year-old has been nominated for a Lifetime Commitment Award by his club and has been selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.
Among the many junior sailors to have come through the club’s coaching system under the supervision of Norris are daughter Emma and son Alistair, who compete at national level in the RS200 class – Emma and partner Matt Mee being crowned British champions in 2013.
Norris said: “I have just had a lifelong love and passion for the sport and the area from coming here on holiday and then settling ourselves here now.
“I started dinghy sailing when I was 13 and still try to be as competitive as I can, while my son and daughter both compete at the highest level of competition. Having helped my own son and daughter through to success at national level, my main passion now is teaching other children.”
Norris has organised that huge event for Red Wharf Bay sailing for 18 years, served as Club Honorary Secretary for 23 years and held the role as Club Commodore for two years, remaining a trustee and active member of the general committee.
The club stalwart is a dinghy instructor for the club’s Junior Sail training programme, a qualified race officer, as well as helping the club attain RYA training centre recognition.
“You don’t do it for recognition, you do it for the enjoyment and passion for the sport as well as being able to pass on knowledge, but we are looking forward to the day of the awards and it will be fantastic,” added Norris.