RYA Yachtmaster of the year named

Welsh sailor, Dani Rowe has been named as the recipient of the RYA Yachtmaster® of the Year award for her exceptional demonstration of sailing skills during her RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence exam.

Rowe, aged 25, an aerosystems engineer officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF), was presented with the prestigious trophy by Richard Falk, RYA director of training and qualifications, on Wednesday 14 July at RAF Wittering in Peterborough.

“This is an outstanding achievement and one Dani should be extremely proud of,” says Falk. “There were more than 3,000 people who undertook the exam for the RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence in 2019.  The calibre was extremely high but Dani put in the strongest performance, demonstrating all of the skills and attributes we look for in potential RYA Yachtmasters.”

Rowe comments: “I mostly sail in the Solent, but am lucky to be based near Rutland Water at the moment so try to get out dinghy sailing as much as I can during the week. I’m really lucky being in the Royal Air Force as I can sail as part of my job. They are really supportive and allow plenty of time to get out on the water.

“I find sailing so freeing and feel truly happy while on the water. It’s the combination of being able to be really relaxed while cruising but also being able to tweak each control to squeeze more speed out of the boat. Each race or outing is different, and you’re always kept on your toes.”

The RYA Yachtmaster of the Year award is presented each year to an individual who has shown outstanding skills and knowledge as a skipper, and successfully demonstrated their expertise and experience during their certificate of competence exam. 

In the nomination for the award, Dani’s RYA Yachtmaster examiner, Carl Rich, said: “What impressed me most was not just Dani’s confidence and precision in handling the boat, but also her ability to plan extremely quickly and accurately.

“She demonstrated her capability in a calm, considered manner whilst sailing in quite testing weather conditions and in very rough seas off Plymouth headlands. She managed the crew effectively and without a hint of anxiety or response to the pressure of the situation. Dani was indeed ‘the full package’ in terms of her skills as a Yachtmaster.”

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