RYA pays tribute to long-standing supporter

James ‘Cedric’ Selby of Romiley, Stockport, passed away peacefully on 15 January 2023, aged 89.

Fondly remembered for his huge contribution to sailing and all recreational watersports, Cedric represented members on the RYA Council, countless committees, and other sporting and environmental forums at local and national level.

Lifelong passion 

Cedric came into sailing in the 1960s through his local Sea Scout Group, sailing dinghies in the RYA North West region, before joining a group of sailing enthusiasts who founded Bredbury and Romiley Sailing Club for the local community.

In the early 1970s he bought his first keelboat, a 25ft Hillyard 5 Tonner, which he moored in Pwllheli, North Wales. He was an active keelboat racer and as his success grew during the following 30 years in Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association events, so did the variety in the size and design of his yachts. Many will recognise, Ink Spot, Sundancer and Quickstep, but to name a few.

Cedric’s ventures into Europe saw him being one of the founding members of the European Cruising Club. He was a firm believer of encouraging sailing for all abilities and keen to encourage talented youngsters through club regattas to national and international class levels.

Cedric’s first venture into administration was at dinghy club level seeking local authority and water ways funding and he was an early member of the Tame Valley Environmental Committee. As his interests progressed, he ventured into administration with the ISORA Committee, of which he was part for some 20 years and of course this brought him into membership of the RYA.

Outstanding contribution 

Cedric’s contribution to the work of the RYA has been outstanding over the years – it would be easier to list the committees he has not served on, rather than go through those he has. His main area of forte lay within Cruising and General Purposes and he was also an active member of the Central Management and Finance Committee.

As Deputy Chairman of RYA Council from 1996 to 2001, Cedric always remained alive to the changing role of the RYA. He set up the National Moorings and Marinas Panel as a sub-committee of the RYA Planning and Environment Committee, with the purpose of encouraging the sustainable development of adequate mooring facilities to meet existing and future demand.

It is a mark of the Panel’s achievements that the most important elements of the Berth Holder Charter have been incorporated into the Yacht Harbour Association Gold Anchor Scheme, a global scheme that sets a performance benchmark for maintaining standards and customer focused services.

Cedric has been a tireless supporter of the RYA at both a regional level in the North West and at a national level. His work to serve the interests of cruising yachtsmen, in particular, was recognised with a National RYA Award in 2002 – acknowledging Cedric’s significant contribution to the governance of the Association over more than 25 years.

Cedric, an RYA Life Member, will be missed by all those who knew him. Our thoughts and condolences are with his children, Graham and Judy, and their family.

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