As a founder member of the then British Steel Shotton Sailing Club in 1983 I took part in the first beginners sailing course, in an Optimist believe it or not (quite a feat for someone 6' 4" tall!) and then began to help with further courses. My first dinghy was an Enterprise and much sailing in this and coaching by our first RYA Principal, John Swift, resulted in me gaining the RYA Dinghy Instructor award in 1984. In 1985 I joined the committee and over the years moved through the roles of Club Captain, Vice Commodore and then Commodore a position in which I proudly served for about 25 years. During my tenure as Commodore I saw the club become Corus Colors Sailing Club and then starting around 2004 I helped to steer the club towards independence from the Steelworks Sports & Social Club, the formation of the company and charity Shotwick Lake Sailing and the purchase of the lake and buildings. Although I have frequently raced at the club my main interest has been in the development of the club and ,of course, in the training section. In the early years John Swift, Alan Sourbutts and myself managed to get the club recognised as an RYA Training Centre. Then, some years later, on passing my RYA Senior Instructor qualification I was appointed as the RYA Training Principal, a role which I still perform to this day. Over the years I have sailed Toppers, Mirrors, GP14s, Herons, Lasers, Wayfarers, Wanderers and many others and my seafaring has included sailing a Sailfish 18 and a Leisure 17SL which I still own. Over the years I have witnessed massive changes and developments at the club and have cared passionately about its success and future. I have been truly blessed to have been able to serve such a fantastic organisation and to have made so many friends along the way.