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RYA National Award to Colin Jenkins presented by HRH the Princess Royal

by Hamish Stuart 26 Nov 2013 12:31 GMT 26 November 2013
Colin Jenkins is presented with the prestigious RYA National Award by HRH the Princess Royal © RYA

Mumbles sailor Colin Jenkins was presented with one of the RYA's (Royal Yachting Association) most prestigious awards, an RYA National Award, by HRH the Princess Royal, for developing a free results and scoring programme used worldwide.

HRH the Princess Royal is President of the RYA and made the presentation at the organisation's annual Volunteer Awards ceremony held at London's One Great George Street.

A total of 43 voluntary awards were presented to winners hailing from across the UK from as far afield as Swansea to Argyll.

Jenkins was nominated for his award by the RYA nationally and was selected as a winner by the Awards panel for his work developing the Sailwave software that is used round the world to collect sailing results and scores – and all free of charge.

"It was a pretty cool event, collecting the award and having a chat with HRH was all a bit of a blur," said Jenkins, who is still an enthusiastic sailor in the Mumbles club.

"I was chatting to the other people getting awards and we all felt we did not deserve to be there, we do work that needs to be done without expecting any recognition.

"I am a computer programmer and volunteered to do the results at Mumbles 13 years ago. I started with Excel, which did not really work, then downloaded some other programmes which I did not like, so I decided to write my own programme.

"I just did it for the club initially, but made it available generally and it went viral. My wife Sheena came up with the name Sailwave.

"It started being used round Britain and then round the world. It can be translated and it was even used at the Test event before the Olympics in China.

"A lot of people ask me why it is free, because maybe it could have been worth a bit of money. A lot of sailing clubs plead poverty, so I felt they would use something else if I charged for it.

"Also if it cost money then I would have to support it and that would take a lot of time. I can put in a lot of work on it now to develop and support it, but it is my choice to do that in my own time and at my own pace.

"It was my contribution to the world of sailing and I always promised it would be free to sailors round the world.

"I still sail at Mumbles and love it, so the enjoyment is the main thing."

Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive said, "The RYA is delighted to make this award in recognition of Colin's enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years' contribution to the worldwide boating scene.

"The 43 RYA winners are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication."

Jenkins and the other RYA Award winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.

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