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Ocean Elements 2018

Interest in Boat Building launches Dafydd to Top Sailing Award

by Hamish Stuart 6 Nov 10:02 GMT
Dafydd Griffiths nominated for an RYA Regional Award © RYA

An Anglesey sailor will be presented with one of the Royal Yachting Association's most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA in recognition of his commitment to Red Wharf Bay Sailing Club and RYA Cymru Wales.

Dafydd Griffiths has been nominated for an RYA Regional Award by Red Wharf Bay Sailing and Watersports Club as well as RYA Cymru Wales and has been selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel.

He will receive his award at the organisation's annual awards ceremony in London on 16 November.

It was an interest in boat building which first drew Griffiths towards sailing, but then he started taking the boats onto the water – while passing his skills and enthusiasm onto others.

Two sons, Eifion and Bleddyn Mon, both competed internationally with Bleddyn recently part of the Turn the Tide on Plastic boat competing in the Volvo Ocean Race. Older brother Dyffrig is a recreational sailor.

Former teacher and education advisor Griffiths was chair of RYA Cymru Wales for a busy five years, as well as leading the successful Red Wharf Bay junior training programme from 1998 to 2014 – he still helps out when he can.

"It is nice to get this recognition, I was surprised but very pleased," admitted Griffiths. "I was on the board of RYA Cymru Wales for nine or ten years and then chair for five years when there was a bit going on.

"I first got involved in sailing when I was at school in Crewe and they had a club which decided to build boats. At that point I could not swim and was more interested in the boat building side than the sailing side.

"But then I learned to swim, after building the boats we launched and sailed them.

"When I moved back to North Wales 30 years ago I took up sailing again, at Red Wharf Bay, through someone I worked with. The club was a nice place to be with small children.

"When they were at an age to start learning to sail I trained as a dinghy instructor and started to run the activities there.

"As the kids got more involved in the squads with Wales and then nationally they asked me to come onto the Welsh Sailing board – someone said I would have more time."

Griffiths was a design and technology teacher and then became a schools advisor for Gwynedd and Anglesey, using his skills in retirement to do up an old yacht which he now sails regularly.

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