TWO sailors from North Yorkshire have been presented with special awards in recognition of their dedication to the sport by HRH The Princess Royal. HRH, who is also president of the Royal Yachting Association, handed out the awards to Erica Caswell, of Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, and Peter Crook from Ellerton Park Scout Water Activity Centre, who were among 47 volunteers honoured at an awards ceremony in London last week.

Each was presented with an RYA Volunteer Award for Lifetime Commitment.

Ms Caswell, who lives in Pateley Bridge and is training principal at Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, started helping to provide low-cost watersports opportunities for local people in the early 1980s.

Over the last 12 months has overseen the club successfully gaining RYA Training Centre recognition, RYA OnBoard accreditation for its outstanding work with children and young people, and becoming a finalist in the RYA/Yachts & Yachting Magazine Club of the Year Awards.

Mr Crook, of Harrogate, was nominated for an RYA Volunteer Award by North Yorkshire Scouts, having been involved for more than 30 years with the Water Activities Team at Ellerton Park, where he transformed the provision of sailing from an ad hoc delivery of sessions to achieve recognition as an official RYA Training Centre.

Mr Crook said: "I find volunteering rewarding because of the benefits young people get from taking part in our activities."