It is with sorrow that the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), host venue to the 2012 sailing events, today announces the passing of Bill Ludlow, Chairman of WPNSA from 1999 to 2008.
Edward Leask, current Vice Chairman of WPNSA shared his thoughts on behalf of the Academy’s team: 'It was with great sadness that we heard the news that Bill Ludlow, Chairman of the Sailing Academy, had passed away on Friday evening, July 4th, 2008.
'Bill was a person who had the vision and determination to drive forward the concept of a National Sailing Academy in Weymouth and Portland and was a founder member of the not for profit company formed in 1999 to take the project forward to this current day. Bill was a key player in enabling WPNSA to be successful as a 2008 Sport Industry Award winner for Environmental Concern in Sport with an unbeatable active Olympic legacy programme and ODA approved facilities.
'Bill has been at the helm of WPNSA since the idea started and the subsequent development of the concept Academy to an Olympic venue in less than 6 years, demonstrating his enigmatic leadership and vision. His passion for sailing and for all maritime aspects meant that his influence reached out across the whole of Portland Harbour, Weymouth Bay and beyond. Bill has worked tirelessly for WPNSA and enabling access for local community people to sail at the Academy’.
'In addition to the Chairmanship of WPNSA, Bill was the driving force behind the ‘Chesil Trust’, a registered charity with the objective of assisting young or disabled people to experience sailing. The Chesil Trust has been responsible for the very successful 'Sail for a Fiver' programme which has, to date, enabled over 2000 young people to taste their first experience of sailing.'
David Dunn, Chairman of the Chesil Trust spoke on behalf of the charity said: 'we are all deeply upset by the news, Bill will be remembered for his contributions to many organisations in the area, but his work with The Chesil Trust reflected his passion for sailing and his wish that as many young people as possible, from all backgrounds, should be able to experience watersports.'
Bill will be very much missed for his enthusiasm, determination and fantastic sense of humour, the WPNSA team will be considering an appropriate way of permanently recording his contribution to the Academy. In the meantime, our thoughts and sympathies are with his wife Di and the rest of his family and friends.