It's not the largest sailing club in the UK, nor the wealthiest, nor even the most modern, but its members are chuffed with pride this week as their club has been named the 2013 RYA Sailing Club of the Year.
Papercourt Sailing Club - bringing sailors together for a wide range of sailing activities. They have even purchased the lake they sail on.
Yes, the Royal Yachting Association has crowned Papercourt Sailing Club in Surrey as their club of the year and they received their award from Skandia Team GBR's Kate Macgregor and RYA CEO Sarah Treseder, at the RYA Dinghy Show this week.
At the eagerly awaited awards ceremony, Papercourt Sailing Club were picked as the overall winners from amongst five strong finalists including Felpham SC (West Sussex) , Holywood YC (Co Down), Notts County SC ( Nottinghamshire) and Staunton Herald SC (Derbyshire).
RYA Club of the Year Award 2013
The shortlisted sailing clubs were selected by an awards panel who judged them on the range including quality and safe activities they provide, how they encourage people to get out on the water and good governance and club management.
Over the last year, Papercourt secured a legacy for sailing in the area by bidding successfully to buy the 45 acre lake on which it has sailed for more than 50 years. Money was raised by their members and written support given by many residents, councillors and local MPs.
300 local people also attended their open day in May with many going on to become members. Racing and training are held all year round and more than 60 people with disabilities enjoy Sailability sessions. The vibrant youth section has 160 young people signed up for training this year, a 40% increase from 2012.
Papercourt Lake with stored sailing boats
Jackie Bennetts, who coordinates RYA Club of the Year explains: 'Papercourt Sailing Club are very worthy winners of this year’s award. They have demonstrated exceptional ability bringing club members together while continuing to run a full and very varied programme of events. In doing so they have secured this site for future sailors both young and old to enjoy'.
'We are absolutely thrilled. It’s a fantastic club and it really is a credit to all those who work so hard making a success of sailing at Papercourt' said Commodore Peter Wadham.
Special thanks to Gallagher Heath for supporting the award.
For more information about RYA Club if the Year visit: www.rya.org.uk/go/cluboftheyear