Family receives sailing award from HRH Princess Royal
PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 December 2019
A sailing family from Clevedon has been awarded with a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) accolade which was presented by HRH Princess Anne.
Ian, Sue, Sarah and Joe Hotchkiss attended the volunteer awards ceremony at One Great George Street in London on November 22.
The club, along Clevedon sea ront, teaches people RYA-accredited courses on sailing, powerboating and skipper theory and the family was 'shocked' to be nominated for the award.
The Hotchkiss' were selected as winners by the RYA's honours and awards panel for the company's first family award, and the accolade was also presented by president of the RYA.
Ian said: "As a family we were quite surprised, as we didn't know our commodore had nominated us, so it came as a shock when we found out."
Ian's parents, Bryon and Jean Hotchkis, founded and ran Clevedon Sailing Club in 1947, which 'epitomises the concept of volunteering within the sport'.
The family has grown the company over the past 70 years and are viewed with 'affection and appreciation' by its members.
Ian continued: "My father started the club all those years ago and I grew up as a cadet.
"My wife Sue and I met there, and when my daughter Sarah was about 11 she decided she wanted to be a cadet and followed in my footsteps."
The company's cadet training programme teaches 10-17 year olds sailing skills, which they practice in Marine Lake and eventually move into the Bristol Channel waters when more experienced.
Ian added: "Sarah's been a commodore, our son Joe is a senior instructor at Clevedon Sailing Club and Sue's served on the social committee for many years.
"We're very honoured and proud of our achievement as a family over the years, and we all dressed up and went to the event together."
The RYA is a national governing body for boating which runs its volunteer awards annually.
The event is designed to honour people for their 'outstanding' contributions to boating across RYA sports, which includes sailing, windsurfing, motor cruising, inland waterways and personal watercraft.
For more information, log on to www.rya.org.uk