Ian’s nomination is nautical but nice

Ian Thompson of Fisherrow Yacht Club has been shortlisted for the RYA Scotland Volunteer of the Year award. He is pictured with his wife Alison.
Ian Thompson of Fisherrow Yacht Club has been shortlisted for the RYA Scotland Volunteer of the Year award. He is pictured with his wife Alison.
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Sailing enthusiast Ian Thompson is in the running for a national volunteering award for his support of Fisherrow Yacht Club in Musselburgh.

Ian, 80, has been shortlisted in the RYA Scotland annual awards, which also sees Fisherrow nominated in the Club of the Year category.

It was his wife’s deteriorating health, which limited her ability to climb down into their boat, that inspired Ian to champion disabled access at Musselburgh Harbour.

Last year, when the club celebrated its diamond jubilee, Ian arranged a six-week display at Musselburgh Museum, preparing exhibits on more than a dozen display boards of club memorabilia.

He provided the drive and led the celebration of the 60th anniversary, helping to raise the club’s profile hugely in the town and local area.

His boat is also regularly donated for club use to take out members, new and old, and he is regularly seen around the club with his tools making improvements.

“My wife and I have been sailing mates for 60 years having first sailed together in South Africa in 1957 and we have sailed out of Fisherrow since 1977,” said Ian.

“The club has been a great source of help and advice to self-taught sailors like us, a place of convivial friendships and much fun through participation in its activities. Giving something back is the least we could do.”

The awards from RYA Scotland – recognised at the national governing body for sailing in all its forms – are supported by Ocean Sailing Scotland and will be announced tomorrow.

The Volunteer of the Year category, in which Ian is nominated, aims to recognise the commitment and enthusiasm of individuals whose passion for sailing provides the inspiration for groups and clubs to participate at all levels.

The Club of the Year Award looks at how clubs are engaging with their members and encouraging a growth in the opportunities to access the water.

Fisherrow Yacht Club has 160 members and is primarily a dinghy club with a yard and promenade storage for 30 dinghies.

A tide-dependent club, launching from the foreshore, it runs training sessions, racing and fun sails throughout the season from April to October.

Thanks to a number of yacht-owning members, the club is able to offer sailing and racing opportunities including weekend cruises across the Forth.

Efforts to grow its membership during the diamond jubilee year proved highly successful and the club gained RYA Regional Training Centre status last summer. Its programme includes Friday night junior sessions and regular courses, providing plenty of opportunities to get on the water.