Award-winning Leek sailors have Royal appointment

Wednesday 6th November 2019

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), will present a pair of Leek sailors with two of the RYA’s most prestigious awards this month, in recognition of their exceptional generosity and commitment to the sport at grassroots level.

Rudyard Lake Sailing Club’s Tricia Ordsmith will receive an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award, for individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years, at the RYA’s annual awards in London on Friday 22th November.

She will be joined at the One George Street ceremony by young clubmate, Lucas Barrow, who will receive an RYA Youth Award, for individuals under 25 who have demonstrated a regular commitment and/or inspirational contribution over-and-above their own participation or achievement within the sport.


Patricia Ordsmith

Tricia Ordsmith will be presented with an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award by HRH The Princess Royal on Friday 22nd November.


Tricia joined Rudyard Lake SC over 25 years ago and quickly became the force for progress at the club. Recognising the needs of younger sailors, she took on the role of group leader of the youth section and introduced the RYA training programme. Her skill and experience have allowed her to inspire hundreds of young sailors, some of whom have gone on to careers in the sailing world.

As a member of the club’s Management Committee, and now Club President, she brings out the best in others to ensure the club builds on its strengths. Having taken early retirement from her former career, she is now Sailing Development Officer for the RYA, working across the Midlands, and an RYA Coach/Assessor, supporting new instructors in getting the qualifications they need. She is fierce advocate of female and youth participation.

Tricia said: “When I found out I had won this award I was absolutely chuffed and surprised. I can’t express how humbled I felt learning that my club colleagues had nominated me. I also couldn’t believe how they had kept such a secret from me!

“The beauty of sailing is it can be a sport or a pastime. Through sailing I have made many friends and enjoyed several sailing adventures and holidays with my family and friends. I have definitely developed a passion for it and have enjoyed sharing this passion with others. It is always rewarding to see someone develop a new skill or achieve a new goal. I’ve now been lucky to have converted my hobby into a new career.”

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Lucas has been a member of Rudyard Lake since he was a shy five-year-old with a beaming smile out on the water. He goes above and beyond what is expected of him, coaching and supporting junior sailors and getting more to race regularly. By the age of 14, Lucas had become an RYA Assistant Instructor, at 16 he was an RYA Dinghy Instructor and at 18 an RYA Senior Instructor. He’s also a qualified Race Coach.


Lucas Barrow

Lucas Barrow will receive an RYA Youth Award from HRH The Princess Royal on Friday 22nd November.


Lucas is passionate about sailing and is looking to progress a career within the sailing industry. He is an inspirational role model for young club members, receives very positive feedback from parents and sailors and is always actively involved in open days and club visits from groups.

He said: “Sailing’s given me the confidence and skills to enable me to do what I want to. Without sailing and the support of my club I would never even have dreamt of achieving most of the things I have.

“The skills I’ve learnt from sailing aren’t just how to teach, communicate or sail; I’ve learnt patience, independence and teamwork. I was overwhelmed when I heard I’d been selected for this prestigious award, especially being aware of all the hard work all RYA volunteers contribute towards sailing.”

The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBEs’ of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions across all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, powerboating, inland waterways and personal watercraft. The winners were nominated by their clubs and selected by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.

For more information about the RYA Volunteer Awards or to find out how you can get out on the water in the Midlands visit

Claire Greenwood, Satellite Clubs Manager, from the SASSOT team says:

“Having worked with Tricia over the years on projects such as Sportivate and This Girl Can, I know just how passionate and hard working she is about promoting sailing opportunities at grass roots level.

Congratulations Tricia from all at SASSOT. Well deserved!”