Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Awards Frank Rainsborough
A new annual awards scheme was launched by Old Pulteney single malt Scotch whisky to reward the outstanding passion, commitment and achievements demonstrated within Britain's maritime communities.
Frank Rainsborough saw the promotion asking for nominations of any members who deserved recognition within one of the following three categories: Club Service, Bravery or Sailing Achievement.
Frank nominated Richard Cannon for the Club Service and Sailing Achievement, and Richard was awarded one of 30 National certificates, but we think his is special, it states that the award is for both categories, clearly they recognised both of Richard's significant contributions!
Prior to Richard's service at Aquarius he'd commenced his sailing at Hawkers in 1969;
he bought SigneT 368 in 1972. Richard was an active member of the Hawkers sailing
section until it closed in 1992; a total of 23 years. He served as Commodore for
a year, 1979-
With the loss of the Hawkers sailing club Aquarius was selected as the best sailing club for Hawker members to join.
Richard's first sail at AQSC was the last race day of the 1992 season, on 25 October. Soon after, the then Sailing Secretary, John Botterill, asked if Richard would replace him as Sailing Secretary, so at the next AGM Richard accepted the post.
He has remained as the Club's energetic Sailing Secretary ever since, an unbroken record of 20 years, during which, amongst other multiple duties, Richard has kept and produced comprehensive records of the Club's activities, which he puts on a website that he created in 1999. He also produces a newsletter 3 times a year.
It's Richard who does much of the organising, the publicity and the 'on-
The SigneT National Championships is an annual fixture, and Richard Cannon is himself a fixture within it, having competed in every championship bar one, since 1972. When he entered that first event at Colwyn Bay, at the age of 37 little did he realise that 40 years later he would not only be still competing at the age of 77, but that he would still be at the front of the fleet, if not the very front!
In 41 years of these UK SigneT annual National Championships the entries have varied from a maximum of 45 to a smaller fleet of 10 entries, but the average is 18. At his first event in 1972 Richard finished in 17th position out of 27 entries. In 1979, at Ferryside, he was rewarded with his first podium position, a 3rd. He missed 1980 but in 1981 at Herne Bay he took another step up on the podium, a 2nd, and the following year, at Selset where he stood in his rightful place, 1st!
In those 41 years he has achieved 15 wins, 10 second places, 2 third places, 2 fourth places, and 1 fifth place, in 30 out of 40 events he has been placed 5th or better, a record unmatched in that fleet, and I suspect, a record unmatched in any other UK Nationals of any class.
The SigneT Class Owners Association also have an Annual Points Trophy for Open Meetings, Richard won it in 1974, and also in every year from 1979 to 1998, for those 21 years it could not be wrested from him! In the 38 years from 1974 to 2012 that Open Meetings Annual Trophy was not held by Richard only 7 times!
To encourage less experienced members at AQSC Richard introduced a Personal Handicap System where members were allocated a PH number; results are evaluated for Boat Handicap and BH + PH. In his first season at AQSC, 1993, Richard would have won every trophy on BH results so he decided to allocate all Trophies to PH results so trophies would be spread amongst more members.
Finally, some other noteworthy contributions that Richard has made to the sailing
community and to his sailing colleagues, are that for 28 years, 1982-
Richard being presented with his Maritime Heroes certificate by Rodger Wheeler
Picture by Frank Rainsborough