Yachtsman Chay Blyth still a prize guy at 77

Chay Blyth, centre, being presented with his Scottish Samurai Great Shogun Award.
Chay Blyth, centre, being presented with his Scottish Samurai Great Shogun Award.

Hawick adventurer Chay Blyth has added another trophy to his collection – a Scottish Samurai Great Shogun Award.

The awards are presented each year to those who have given distinguished service in any area of activity, whether it is locally, nationally or internationally.

Sir Chay, a yachtsman and rower, became in 1971 the first person to sail single-handedly non-stop around the world westwards, on a 59ft boat called British Steel.

He received his latest accolade as recognition of his life as a pioneering adventurer at the awards, staged in Aberdeen’s Marcliffe Hotel.

He was presented with his award by Japanesde consul general Daisuke Matsunaga, film producer Compton Ross, Lord Lyon King of Arms Joseph Morrow, Lord Charles Bruce and Ronnie Watt.

The former Parachute Regiment sergeant’s previous honours include being given a British Empire Medal in 1966, made a Commander of the British Empire in 1971 and being voted yachtsman of that year by the Yachting Journalists’ Association.

Sir Chay, 77, was knighted in 1997.

“I was delighted with the award and thoroughly enjoyed the whole day,” said Sir Chay.

Previous winners include the actress Joanna Lumley.