Sailing veteran Tom Richardson has been awarded the inaugural Spirit of Cowes Award at a ceremony held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club last week.
Awarded in conjunction with Steve Ancsell of Cowes Radio, the Spirit of Cowes Award was created to celebrate 25 years of racing at Cowes Week. 2014 marked 25 years of Chris Russell’s involvement in the regatta – during that time, he’s strived to make sailing fun, informative, accessible and engaging for all who try their hand at it. Chris truly encompasses the ‘Spirit of Cowes’.
In honour of Chris’s efforts, sailors and spectators at this year’s regatta were asked to nominate individuals who they felt also embraces the ‘Spirit of Cowes’ – with the winner first announced live on Cowes Radio back in August.
Tom weathered stiff competition from a number of hopefuls but the judge’s felt that Tom’s long-standing involvement with the sport made him a worthy winner. Tom’s first Cowes’s regatta was back in 1958 and sailed a variety of boats throughout his life.
Chris Russell, Spirit of Cowes judge, comments, “It is a true honour to award Tom with the inaugural Spirit of Cowes award. Tom has a great passion for the sport and his encouragement and hard-work has enabled many sailors to advance and develop. Voters were particularly complimentary of Tom’s great nature and personality – as one voter put it ‘Tom is a true gentlemen, on and off the water'”.
As part of Chris’s on-going attempts to introduce a wide variety of people to the world of sailing, in latter years, Chris has chartered a First 40.7 at Cowes Week and fills the boat with range of clients and contacts from his day job – Joint CEO at leading market research specialist eDigitalResearch.
Chris continues, “Cowes Week is a fantastic opportunity to share my true passion in life. It’s a unique privilege to show novice crews that have never have had an opportunity to sail what it’s all about. Each year, the reaction is fantastic – we have clients at eDigitalResearch who ask to return year after year”.
The trophy itself was designed and sculptured by Isle of Wight artist Paul Critchley. In its first year, the Spirit of Cowes award will now be presented on an annual basis. Members of the public will be invited to nominate individuals each year who they feel have really demonstrated the ‘Spirit of Cowes’.