Cumbria Crack

Volunteer recognised for contribution to blind sailing

Jonny Cormack and HRH the Princess Royal

A sailor from Milnthorpe has been presented with a prestigious award for his 18 years as a volunteer with GBR Blind Sailing.

Jonny Cormack received the award from the President of the RYA, HRH the Princess Royal at a ceremony on London.

He said it was an honour to get the award and when he received the notification had thought ‘Wow, that’s amazing.”

Jonny started his sailing career at the age of two aboard his father’s boat on Windermere and loved it so much that he became an instructor and now manages the Windermere Outdoor Adventure Centre. It was during his career at a similar centre in Rochdale that he first began to champion disabled sailing and 20 years ago became associated with Blind Sailing.

As well as helping with the training of visually impaired sailors, much of it on Windermere, Jonny competes as a sighted crew to assist and advise the others on the boat.

He has competed in four World Blind Sailing Championships as tactician, helping the B3 Team win two silvers and a gold. He is not allowed to handle any of the boat’s controls, only able to give information verbally. However he says he has learnt much from the visually impaired sailors. He says they can sense if the boat is not performing to its potential from its motion before those with sight detect what is wrong.

Jonny also serves on the charity’s committee, helping to raise funds and organise training and team travel, including accommodation.

The citation describes Jonny as someone who always has a hello and a smile for all. “Jonny never says ‘no’, encourages everyone and is always looking at ways the charity can grow and support more people”.

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