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HRH The Princess Royal unveils RYA Yachtmaster of the Year

by Susie NationGrainger, RYA 12 Jan 2011 16:42 GMT 12 January 2011

Emily Penn from Penarth has been crowned RYA Yachtmaster® of the Year 2010 and today was presented with her award by HRH The Princess Royal at the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show. The RYA Yachtmaster® of the Year trophy is awarded to a student who has excelled in their practical Yachtmaster® exam during the year. The winner of the award must possess outstanding skills and knowledge as a skipper and will have demonstrated their expertise and experience during their exam.

Emily, 23, was selected for the top award despite fierce competition from more than 3,200 Yachtmaster® candidates worldwide who qualified last year. They were entered by RYA’s team of Yachtmaster® examiners who work across the globe.

Emily took her Yachtmaster® exam on the 19 November 2010, passing with flying colours. Her examiner Mike Stratton said “I found Emily was well up to the RYA Yachtmaster® Offshore standard, an extremely good sailor, a natural skipper and modest with it. It was a pleasure to examine a candidate of such a high standard.”

The RYA Yachtmaster® of the Year trophy was donated by the Royal Institute of Navigation and Emily also received a lifejacket courtesy of Spinlock.

A delighted Emily said “It’s great to have won this award. I hope it inspires more young people to get involved in sailing and realise there is no limit to what they can achieve. Sailing around the world was an amazing experience. It took me to some of the most inaccessible and beautiful places but it also opened my eyes to the many environmental challenges threatening our oceans. I can’t wait to get back on the water and continue tackling these issues.”

RYA Training Manager Richard Falk said: “The RYA Yachtmaster® qualification is highly regarded all over the world and a consequence attracts a large number of high calibre candidates. Passing the Yachtmaster® exam is an achievement in itself, to be selected as Yachtmaster® of the year is a true honour and we are delighted for Emily.”

Shortly after graduating Emily travelled around the world on a record breaking bio-fuelled Earthrace vessel managing an international environmental campaign to promote the use of alternative fuels.

She has recently returned from the South Atlantic Gyre where she analysed the effect of plastic pollution on the marine ecosystem. Now with over 30,000 sea miles under her belt, Emily has joined Pangaea Exploration as Operations Manager running marine exhibitions on the 72ft steel hulled sailing vessel.

The Yachtmaster® qualification itself is highly respected across the globe, and is a great entry ticket to the marine trade.

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