Posted: January 2017
Gavin Reid, the profoundly deaf amateur sailor and grandson of yesterday's preacher David Neville, has beaten "his heroes" by becoming the boats.com 2016 YJA Yachtsman of the Year. Fellow nominees included the 2016 Rio gold medallist Giles Scott and Round the Island Race record holder Brian Thompson. The award, in a very close vote, recognised his remarkable heroics during the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. Gavin jumped into the ocean in heavy seas and was pulled through the water on a line to another yacht in distress. There he climbed the mast and painstakingly untangled a crew member trapped at the top for hours. He was awarded the splendid trophy at Trinity House last Tuesday and adds his name to the likes of Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, Ben Ainslie and round-the-world yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur.
The next day, Gavin gave accomplished media interviews on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme and BBC TV's Breakfast show. His only sadness was that his mother Hilary, who grew up in our church but sadly died last year, was not able to be at the award ceremony to see him. She would have been extremely proud.
For a BBC story about his exploits, click here.
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