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Bob Lewis, a sailing enthusiast from Solihull, has been hailed the 2013 winner of The Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Awards
Bob Lewis, a sailing enthusiast from Solihull, has been hailed the 2013 winner of our exciting nationwide initiative – The Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Awards.
Bob, who is 90 years old, was nominated by Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club for his outstanding Club Service. He was selected as the winner by a panel of judges from the many deserving nationwide entries.
Now in its second year, this annual awards scheme was created to reward the outstanding passion, commitment and achievements demonstrated within Britain’s maritime communities, at both a local and national level. To launch this year’s scheme in May we contacted UK sailing clubs asking them to nominate any members they felt deserved recognition within one of the following three categories: Club Service, Bravery or Sailing Achievement.
Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club owes its existence to Bob, who is its Founder, First Commodore and oldest sailor. After building an Enterprise dinghy in his garage in the 1950’s, Bob dedicated his time to finding a suitable place to sail it. In 1957 he found a group of like- minded people and worked tirelessly to form a sailing club with enough land for a clubhouse and shore facilities. After finally succeeding in 1961 he was elected Club Commodore.
In addition to this achievement, he has dedicated much of his life to introducing young people to the joys of sailing, many of whom have enjoyed international success in the sport. In recent years he has mentored junior sailors by sailing with them in races, an initiative that has seen the youngsters grow in confidence and progress through the boat classes.
Bob’s commitment has not been restricted to the immediate community, he has also arranged sailing afternoons for visiting Belarusian children who were suffering the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. His support of the programme was recognised by a commendation from Stratford-on-Avon District Council in 2006.
A true maritime ambassador, Bob hasn’t allowed his age or failing hips to restrict his activities, he still regularly competes throughout the year and often shames younger members into sailing in the cold and wet, when staying ashore might seem a more attractive option.
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