'Unsung hero' Derbyshire awarded OBE

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The Independent Online

RYA performance director and racing manager John Derbyshire has been awarded the OBE in the 2010 New Year Honours list.

The 54-year-old from Emsworth began working with the RYA as a coach in 1984, attending the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games as coach to the single-handed classes. Derbyshire was the Olympic manager for sailing from 1996 to 2000 and managed the British sailing team at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, which brought home three gold and two silver medals making sailing Great Britain’s most successful sport.

From 1994 to 2000, he was Ben Ainslie’s personal coach, with Ainslie going on to win gold in the Laser class at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

RYA chief executive Rod Carr said: "John is one of the unsung heroes of British sailing and thoroughly deserves this public accolade. His steady hand has guided the World Class Programme since 2000 and has made sure that our sailors don’t rest on their laurels but push for even more success."