A DEDICATED sailor has been honoured for his committment to the sport by receiving the Royal Yachting Association Community Award from the Princess Royal.
James Race may be 76 years-old but his enthusiasm for matters nautical is never-ending.
After setting up the Heart of England Offshore Cruising Association over 15 years ago, the Knowle resident could be excused for starting to slow down.
But while others may be left treading water in their advancing years, Jim, as he is best known, continues to be the driving force of the association.
Not only is he teaching navigation at night-school twice a week, and actively recruiting new members, he still manages to take part in three rallies a year.
His continued willingness to pass on his knowledge and encourage other people to get out sailing is second to none.
But at a time where the sport is on the rise Jim’s job is still tough as his Balsall Common-based association is some three hours away from the sea.
“Attracting locals to the club is hard because we’re so far away from the sea,” he said.
But if you think that will stop him then think again.
Proud of his 130-strong membership club, Jim says the recent award has made him more committed.
“I couldn’t believe it when it happened - it was just such a shock,” he said.
The active member described his day in Westminster as ‘incredible’ after meeting Princess Anne and enjoying a V.I.P-like dinner.
“It was quite an experience - something I’ll never forget.”
For more information on sailing visit the association’s website on www.hoeoca.org.uk.