Runswick Bay sailor takes yachting helm

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A Runswick Bay sailor is hoping to ensure 2014 is an exciting year for watersports on the Yorkshire coastline.

Sam Usher has been appointed regional development officer for the Royal Yachting Association.

Thirty-year-old Sam said that after working as far afield as Dubai and Indonesia, he is thrilled to be back where it all began.

Sam said he began sailing at Runswick Bay Beach and Sailing Club, first crewing for other people, then sailing single-handed in a Laser.

He added: “My late father and I did quite a lot of sailing together on a variety of boats, while my mother watched. Then she thought, if you can’t beat them, join them. Now she enjoys the simple pleasure of getting out on any stretch of water, sailing single-handed whenever she can.”

David Staniforth, RYA chairman of the RYA for Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sam back to his home waters. We look forward to working with him to drive the development of the sport here in the region so sailing can reach its full potential.”

Sam explained that he hopes to convey his passion for sailing as widely as possible throughout the region. Working alongside sailing clubs located alonf the coastline, he hopes to develop a network of sailing opportunities for everyone.

“Sailing is one of the few sports that can offer something for all ages and abilities,” he added. “It can be relaxing and calming or thrilling and exhilarating, it’s really your choice.

“There really is no excuse not to get out on the water and give it a go.”

Another of Sam’s aims is to raise the profile of this coastline among the wider sailing community. He added: “We have the facilities, locations and potential to host some prestigious events and once the elite competitors come up here they will be hooked.

“Finally, I would like to work with clubs, centres and commercial partners to develop a pathway for people to enter into employment within the boating world, with the use of apprenticeships and internships.”