Princess Anne presented the accolade at the London Boat Show
Rainer Holtorff from Germany has been named the RYA Yachtmaster of the Year 2012.
Rainer was presented with the RYA Yachtmaster of the Year Trophy by HRH The Princess Royal today at the Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show.
Richard Falk RYA Training Manager said: ‘This is the first time that the RYA Yachtmaster of the Year has been awarded to someone outside the UK, which demonstrates the truly global significance of the RYA Yachtmaster qualification.’
Speaking after the presentation Rainer said: ‘It was a real honour to receive the award and quite surreal to be receiving it as a German.
‘Although I have the highest German sailing qualifications I wanted to take the RYA Yachtmaster exam because it is widely acknowledged around the world and means that I can now work in places like the Caribbean.
‘I would recommend the RYA Yachtmaster to anyone because it is very practical and really tests your competency on the water.’
Rainer’s examiner, Nigel Rennie said: ‘Rainer’s scratch crew had no experience of the boat prior to the exam and he treated the day like a corporate experience event.
‘It was wet with poor visibility and working in a foreign language he had his work cut out.
‘His eye for detail had reefs set and shaken out to match the squalls, proactively trimming sails and coaching the helm.
‘Boat handling looked easy with man-overboard under sail completed in 90 seconds from 13kts to stopped alongside.’
Rainer started sailing on Fjords near the Baltic Sea. Whilst studying in Hamburg he bought an old yacht which he sailed either single handed or with a small crew on the North Sea, the Baltic and the River Elbe.
He went on to skipper yachts around the European coast and across the Atlantic. In 2009 he founded the yacht delivery company Sailworkteam, and is currently skippering an ocean yacht JV53 ‘Tognum’.
Rainer describes offshore sailing as ‘physical, you are working with the airflow so you need your senses, your instincts and your technical skills.’
He added: ‘A skipper has to be able to communicate, understand the influences of changes in weather and be able to understand the boat technically and so I know my learning will never come to an end and I appreciate that!’
Candidates for the 2012 RYA Yachtmaster award were entered by the RYA’s worldwide team of Yachtmaster examiners.
The RYA Yachtmaster of the Year Trophy was donated by the Royal Institute of Navigation.
Click here to find out more about the RYA Yachtmaster exam.