Tributes to late Sunderland Yacht Club president

Roy Twelves, president of Sunderland Yacht Club, who died on December 7, 2013.
Roy Twelves, president of Sunderland Yacht Club, who died on December 7, 2013.
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A SAILING club chief who received Royal recognition for his devotion to yachting has died.

President of Sunderland Yacht Club (SYC) Roy Twelves, who was involved with the organisation for more than four decades, died aged 79 on December 7, after suffering from cancer.

Originally from Sheffield, he moved to the North East during the 1960s. After becoming a member of SYC, he was made president in 1985.

His dedication to both the sport and his club earned him recognition from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). In 2010, he was presented with a Lifetime Commitment Award – one of the highest RYA awards for volunteers – by HRH The Princess Royal.

Mr Twelves continued racing his beloved boat, Carmen Maria, competitively until he was 78.

And last year, he abseiled from the 85ft high roof of the Malmaison Hotel on Newcastle’s Quayside to raise awareness and funds for the Northern Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Fund.

Friend and fellow yacht club member Keith Robertson today paid tribute to Mr Twelves. “Roy was an extremely popular person,” said Mr Robertson, 69. “As president, he always led from the front, and even though he stopped sailing before he died, he was still a regular at club events.

“He was a gentleman of the highest integrity and an inspiration to many.” SYC members held a minute’s silence in his honour at their AGM this week.

He leaves wife Brenda, children Debbie and Nigel and grandchildren Katherine, Charlotte, Jessica and Hugh.