Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Chipstead Sailing Club stalwart is rewarded with a Royal Yachting Association Lifetime Commitment Award

Rob Daw’s 64-year association with Chipstead Sailing Club was recognised this month when he was presented with a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Lifetime Commitment Award by Ian Walker, MBE, the President of Chipstead Sailing Club and Director of Racing at the RYA.

Rob Daws (right) receives his lifetime achievement award from Ian Walker

Rob would have normally received the award from Princess Anne at a London ceremony but the covid pandemic prevented this from going ahead.

The sailing club is based on Chipstead Lake and its website gave an account of Rob’s history at the club which started when his father became one of the first members in 1953.

Rob started sailing on Chipstead Lake in 1954, with his sisters crewing for him. He became a full member in 1956 and has been a member ever since.

In the 64 years since becoming a member, Rob has actively covered many of the volunteer duties carried out by members. In the early days he was active in numerous jobs required of a fledgling club, but as the club membership grew, greater organisation was needed which led to Rob becoming Sailing Secretary for five years on two separate occasions. His duties included scheduling the races and organising the race officers.

Olympic sailor Ian Walker talks to some of the young Chipstead members

From 1991 to 2004 Rob was Commodore, when his thoughtful guidance leading the General Committee, enabled Chipstead to maintain a high membership which enjoyed the benefits of a greatly improved clubhouse and an increase in the size of the lake.

Rob is still active in the club, as both a Trustee and also regularly racing in his Laser, leaving many younger racers in his wake.

As well as presenting Rob’s award, former Sevenoaks School pupil Ian Walker gave the Chipstead junior sailors a morning to remember when he coached them out on the water and gave them hints and tips while ashore.

The North Downs provides a picturesque backdrop to Chipstead Lake

The juniors benefitted from his extensive skill and experience which has seen him compete in two Americas Cup, as well as skippering the Abu Dhabi crew to first place in the 2014 Volvo Round the World race. He has also had multiple victories in the European and World Championships.

His success at the Olympics Games has also made him one of Britain’s most successful sailors. He won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, USA, and another silver in the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia. He also coached British sailor Shirley Robertson and her Yngling Team to gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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