British sailors become British royalty

Published on January 1st, 2022

A host of the British Sailing Team’s Tokyo 2020 stars have been recognized in the New Year Honors 2022 List for services to sailing.

Hannah Mills (above left) is made an OBE after winning gold in the women’s 470 class in Japan this summer, becoming the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time in the process.

Mills’ award also recognizes her environmental campaigning with her charity the Big Plastic Pledge.

Eilidh McIntyre (above right), who won gold alongside Mills in the 470, is made an MBE, as are 49er Olympic champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell.

British Sailing Team boss Mark Robinson, who led Team GB’s sailors at Tokyo 2020, is also made an MBE.

The British honors system rewards individuals with Honors, Decorations, and Medals in public recognition of their merit, service or bravery. Honors are announced and awarded twice a year by Her Majesty The Queen, with lists consisting of knights and dames, appointments to the Order of the British Empire, and gallantry and bravery awards. Different awards are received depending on an individual’s achievements.

Perhaps the most well-known awards are classes of appointment to the Order of the British Empire. Instituted in 1917 by George V, the awards were created during World War I to reward services to the war effort by people not on the front line. However, they are now awarded to civilians as well as members of the armed forces.

They include (in order of precedence):
• GBE, KBE or DBE (Knight or Dame) – Knight or Dame of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
• CBE – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
• OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
• MBE – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Prior to joining the British Sailing Team in 2017, Robinson was performance manager at Australian Sailing where he led the country’s Paralympic sailors to the top of the medal table at Rio 2016.

“I am truly honored to have received an MBE for services to sailing and very happy to see a number of our Olympic medalists also recognized,” said Robinson, Olympic Performance Manager at the Royal Yachting Association.

“However none of these successes are down to one person. Success in these pursuits only comes from a group of highly dedicated and relentless individuals that form a team and work as one to execute the task at hand, which we had in abundance within the British Sailing Team throughout this Olympic cycle.

“This is equally shared with all the outstanding individuals I have had the pleasure of being alongside in this pursuit of excellence.”

The full list of honors can be found at www.gov.uk/honours/honours-lists.

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