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Danielle (25) sails to yachting award

A support force engineer from RAF Wittering has been named Yachtmaster of the Year by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
20210714-Danielle Rowe with Trophies-O
Flight Lieutenant Danielle Rowe with the official silver trophy and personal award.

AeroSystems Engineer Flight Lieutenant Danielle Rowe (25) has been named as the recipient for her exceptional demonstration of sailing skills during her RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence exam.

The qualification is highly respected across the globe and a recognised entry ticket to the maritime industry.

And the award is presented each year to an individual who has shown outstanding skills and knowledge as a skipper, and successfully demonstrated their expertise and experience during their certificate of competence exam.

Originally from Wales, Danielle started sailing when she was just nine years old and says she’s never looked back. She soon started racing at Neyland Yacht Club in Pembrokeshire, travelling to events across Wales and the rest of the UK, before starting team racing and yacht racing whilst at university in Southampton.

Danielle said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to have been chosen as RYA Yachtmaster of the Year and still can’t quite believe it. My exam was in tough conditions, so it was great to hear that I had performed so well.”

Flight Lieutenant Rowe works in support force headquarters at RAF Wittering. When told of an upcoming operation or exercise, Danielle and her team calculate exactly what the Support Force needs to provide in order to empower that activity and turn the requirement into a functioning reality. It is a complex and demanding role which requires a detailed knowledge of engineering and logistics.


20210714-Dani Rowe Aboard ship 2-OFlight Lieutenant Danielle Rowe in June 2021 aboard the RAF Sailing Association racing yacht ‘Red Arrow’. By Supplied

Flight Lieutenant Rowe was presented with the trophy by Richard Falk, RYA director of training and qualifications at RAF Wittering.

Danielle was one of more than 3,000 people who undertook the RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence exam in 2019. Presentation of the award was unfortunately delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Falk said: “This is an outstanding achievement and one Dani should be extremely proud of. There were more than 3,000 people who undertook the exam for the RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence in 2019. The calibre was extremely high, but Dani put in the strongest performance, demonstrating all of the skills and attributes we look for in potential RYA Yachtmasters.”

Dani added: “I mostly sail in the Solent but am lucky to be based near Rutland Water at the moment so try to get out dinghy sailing as much as I can during the week. I’m really lucky being in the Royal Air Force as I can sail as part of my job. They are really supportive and allow plenty of time to get out on the water.”