A HUSBAND and wife who founded Himley Hall Sailing Club have been presented with a prestigious yachting award by HRH The Princess Royal.

Michael and Dorothea Willetts were awarded the lifetime commitment honour at the Royal Yachting Association’s awards in London, in recognition for their 42 years voluntary dedication to sailing.

The couple who were founder members in 1970 continue to work for the club – with their daughters and grandchildren also involved.

Mike, who is a sailor himself is currently a committee member, having taken on various roles over the last four decades including Commodore, Sailing Secretary and Sponsored 24 hour Race organiser, while Dorothea, who stays on land, has been the club’s Honorary Secretary for 25 years and serves on the Ladies’ Committee.

Michael said:“I get a great deal of pleasure in being on the water in the fresh air, away from the hustle and bustle of business life. I was surprised at being nominated for this award, but very proud. It gave us both a shock but it is a great honour.”

Dorothea added: “I’m usually found in the galley providing meals and making hundreds of cups of tea and coffee. Seeing my husband and daughters enjoying themselves gives me great pleasure. To win this award was a huge surprise and compliment for doing what I have enjoyed.”

The pair were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate by Princess Anne, as well as enjoying a celebratory lunch.