Fiftieth Southampton Boat Show to aid marine conservation

British Marine, organisers of Southampton Boat Show 2018, has announced a long-term commitment to marine conservation .

Celebrating their 50th Show this year, British Marine is taking steps to minimise the environmental impact of the event and raise awareness of the plight of the world’s oceans among its thousands of visitors and exhibitors. Working with the Marine Conservation Society, the organisers have launched a dynamic three-year pledge which includes moving away from single use plastics, serving only sustainable fish, continuing to recycle waste wherever possible and encouraging environmentally responsible behaviour by visitors, exhibitors, staff and other stakeholders

By 2020, British Marine aims to have the individual engagement and signed commitment to marine conservation from of all exhibitors and contractors through its Exhibitor & Contractor Environment Charter.

Greg Munford, British Marine President, comments: “As an industry which lives for being on the seas, we see first-hand the effects humanity is having on our waters. It is important that this wonderful and unique resource which we rely on is protected.

“As Britain’s biggest festival of boating, attracting an international audience of over 106,000 visitors and 500 marine businesses, Southampton Boat Show provides an ideal platform to drive change and get sailing enthusiasts and boatbuilders alike to take notice.” Southampton Boat Show takes place at Mayflower Park/Town Quay, Southampton from September 14-23, 2018. Early Bird tickets are now on sale, with two children under the age of 15 going free with each adult. For more information visit:

This is a first . . . and really very special — Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Liverpool arrival. Photo credit:

History has been made as Australian Sailor Wendy Tuck becomes the first woman to ever win a round the world yacht race after clinching the overall victory in the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

And in an additional win for women’s sport, second place went to British Sailor Skipper Nikki Henderson, 25, the Skipper of Visit Seattle.

Wendy and her Sanya Serenity Coast team went into the thirteenth and final race of the Clipper 2017-18 Race on top of the overall standings and have done enough to put the result out of reach for the other ten teams ahead of the sprint finish up the Mersey to Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, UK.

Wendy, 53, from Sydney, said: “I can’t believe it. It hasn’t really sunk in really but I am just so happy. It is so, so special.

“I don’t think it’s about being a woman. It’s just do what I do. But I am very proud and even prouder of my team. They are the ones that did all the work and considering many had never sailed before, what they have accomplished is incredible.”

Victorious, Wendy Tuck

It was a battle to see who would seal the win – Wendy or Nikki Henderson, the youngest ever Clipper Race Skipper. Despite Visit Seattle playing its Joker Card (a device which double the race points earned) Nikki Henderson fell just short of the overall win but her four podiums over the last year meant she and her team will take second place overall, despite the results of Saturday’s sprint.

Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson said: “Congratulations to Wendy and her team – you were just too quick for us!

“We didn’t get the win but I am so proud of how my team dug deep and kept fighting right until the end. No matter how hard it got, they turned up on deck ready to work and deserve every bit of this success in coming second.

“It will take a bit for it all to sink in. We still have once last sprint to go on Saturday and we will be sailing with style right until the very end.”

Delighted with the female one-two finish, Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world, said: “There’s never been a race, a round the world race, where you’ve had the two leading Skipper both be women. This is a first. And when you look at what they are racing against, the experience of the other Clipper Race Skippers, you realise that this is really very special.

Sanya Serenity Photo Credit:onEdition

“The impact of the success of both Wendy and Nikki cannot be underestimated. If this gets even one more girl start sailing and dreaming big, then I’ll consider everything we have done over the last eleven months a huge success.”

The other Chinese Clipper Race entry, Qingdao, won Race 13, the final stage of the Clipper Race from Derry-Londonderry to Liverpool, crossing the line at 10:04:04 UTC on Friday 27 July to finish 28 minutes ahead of the second placed Liverpool 2018, whilst Garmin was third.

Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch says: “It has been a fantastic race and I am extremely happy and proud of the effort my team has put in.

“To be able to not only secure the Race 13 victory but also guarantee our Race Team Partner Qingdao its first ever overall podium is extremely satisfying. The entire team has been working towards this goal for the past year and it is amazing to realise that we have done it.”

This is the fourth podium of the 2017-18 series for Qingdao and the second win after the team previously claimed victory in Race 9 across the mighty North Pacific from Qingdao to Seattle. Qingdao has also been the champion of the Scoring Gate, with the team collecting a fleet high 19 bonus points from Scoring Gates.

Although podium positions have been decided, bonus race points will be awarded to the first three teams that cross the sprint finish line off Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, where they are expected to arrive between 0930 and 1000 tomorrow morning, Saturday 28 July.

The Clipper Race is unique in that it trains non-professionals to be ocean faring sailors. Established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world, 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew have no previous sailing experience before signing up and undergoing the compulsory four weeks of training.

In total, 712 people representing 41 different nationalities and from all walks of life have taken part in the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Race, the event’s eleventh edition.

Clipper Race finish, Liverpool. Photo credit:

New chief for British Marine

Lesley Robinson
Lesley Robinson, new CEO, British Marine

British Marine has a new chief executive who takes up her position on Monday, July 16.

Lesley Robinson is the newly appointed chief executive officer and joins BMF as a high calibre, proven, chief executive with both UK and international experience in numerous public, non-marine as well as leisure marine sectors. She is a qualified accountant, with financial, commercial and general management roles to her credit.

Her early career has included executive positions of managing director, COO and finance director of numerous companies as well as various non-exec director roles, with an extensive range of business and commercial acumen.

Greg Munford, acting president at British Marine, said: “I am delighted that British Marine has managed to attract a proven senior executive to the post of CEO. I am looking forward to working with Lesley and the Non-Executive Board during the next 12 months as President.”

David Pougher, Interim Managing Director at British Marine, added: “Lesley has the varied and extensive skill set that is needed to lead and guide British Marine forward through its continued navigation of change. I am extremely pleased that we were able to act swiftly in identifying what is required and to appoint someone who can clearly illustrate their capabilities through previous, successful roles. I am also confident that she has what is required and will deliver the drive, commitment and passion to take British Marine further in offering unique and fulfilling solutions, support and satisfaction for our members, staff and partners.”

Lesley, upon her appointment, stated: “I am excited to be taking on this new role and look forward to working for and with British Marine members to help secure a healthy future for our marine industry.”


Yacht Racing Forum partnership with peformance catamarans

Performance catamaran by Gunboat

An expert in performance cruise-racing catamarans, Gunboat will showcase its brand and share ideas and knowledge with delegates from the Yacht Racing Forum in Lorient, France, on October 22-23.

It results from a new  three year partnership with Gunboat, a dynamic and innovative company  focusing on high-tech yet comfortable cruise-racing catamarans. Earlier this week, the Forum agreed a partnership with the YJA.

Founded in 2002 and owned by Grand Large Yachting, Gunboat has established itself as the gold standard for cruising catamarans. The brand offers Grand Prix monohull performance with the space, comfort, and volume of a cat, and the seaworthiness to handle the toughest blue water passages. Gunboat leads this specific market, thanks amongst others to the new Gunboat 68 which combines luxury, performance and refinement.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gunboat as a long term partner & exhibitor “, says Bernard Schopfer, the organiser of the Yacht Racing Forum. “This is a truly innovative brand, developed by some of the best specialists from within the yacht racing industry. Gunboat creates a strong link between the yacht racing and cruise / leisure communities”

Benoît Lebizay, partner at Grand Large Yachting Group, explains: “What we do, at Gunboat, is very close to what happens within top-end sailing teams: we share the same state of the art design teams, a great attention to details during the construction process, and a quest for perfection. On top of this, we also attach great importance to the quality of the interior design, and believe that performance can rhyme with comfort and reliability.

Gunboat will showcase their latest productions during the next Yacht Racing Forum, and actively participate in the Design and Technology Symposium, discussing the trickle down effects from the America’s Cup and other top level sailing events on production boats.

The Yacht Racing Forum is the leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing. The event will take place on October 22-23, 2018 in Brittany, in the town of Lorient, at the heart of the mythical Sailing Valley, one of the world’s most dynamic venues for the sport and the industry of sailing and yacht racing.

For more information and registration:

Howard Pridding joins RYA as interim director of external affairs

Howard Pridding –
Photo: British Marine Federation

The Royal Yachting Association  has  announced the appointment of Howard Pridding in the role of interim Director of External Affairs.

No stranger to recreational boating, Howard previously worked in a variety of roles at British Marine for over 27 years and served as Chief Executive for more than five of those. Having taken the decision to seek new opportunities, Howard is joining the RYA later this month [July 2018] and will head up the Cruising, Legal and Government Affairs division.

Experience and knowledge

Throughout his long career, Howard has built his knowledge and deep understanding of the boating industry and has played a leading role in representing the industry to politicians, government officials and the media. As such, he has a wide network of contacts within parliament, government departments and strategic partner organisations that will stand him in excellent stead to build on the RYA’s lobbying successes as the Brexit negotiations continue.

In his new role, Howard will work closely with the Chief Executive and senior management team to ensure that recreational boating interests are represented effectively and that Government, in all its forms, takes full account of the sector’s activities when balancing competing interests. The role has been appointed for an interim period of six months to enable a review of the existing structure and accountabilities of the Cruising, Legal and Government Affairs team.

The Director of External Affairs role also has an ambassadorial role as spokesperson for the recreational boating industry, the RYA’s 111,000 valued members, and the organisation.

YJA to partner with Yacht Racing Forum


Cliff Webb and Bernard Schopfer have announced a partnership between their respective organisations, the Yachting Journalists’ Association and the Yacht Racing Forum.

The Yachting Journalists’ Association, of which Cliff Webb is chairman, will become an official media partner of the Yacht Racing Forum.

“We are very pleased to welcome the Yachting Journalists’ Association amongst our partners”, said Bernard Schopfer, the organiser of the Forum. “The sport’s key actors from all over the world, the industry members, event organizers, teams or sponsors, need media to develop their activities, whilst the media need them to generate quality content. The Yacht Racing Forum is the ideal location for everyone to meet in a relaxed environment and develop strong and personal relationships”.

Cliff Webb, the newly elected chairman of the Yachting Journalists’ Association sees the partnership as an important opportunity for members, who come from all over the world.

“The YJA have members who are at the forefront of all branches of the media, together with our corporate members working in PR and other areas from many different countries,” Cliff commented. “To open up this valuable forum to our members is a huge benefit to both sides of this partnership.”

The Yachting Journalists’ Association was founded in 1955, along with the creation of their Yachtsman of the Year award, the oldest such trophy in the world, originally donated by Sir Max Aitken, then proprietor of England’s Daily Express newspaper.

This year’s Yacht Racing Forum will take place in the French port of Lorient on October 22 – 23, with an impressive line-up of speakers representing a wide variety of interests and disciplines within the sport.

On October 24, delegates will have the opportunity to visit the local industries and business active in yacht racing; a unique chance to learn more about the French know-how!

The Forum in session

Major investment for propellor manufacturer

The floating pontoon for workboats

Seawork International, the marine industry’s dedicated showcase for the commercial marine and workboat markets., closed its doors this evening on a high note with confirmation of one of the marine industry’s largest single investments of the year.

The exhibition  provided a unique combination of undercover exhibition space, open air demonstrations and floating displays, all occurring in the waterfront atmosphere of Southampton’s Mayflower Park.

The investment was confirmed by exhibitor, Southampton=based CJR Propulsion by announcing the installation of £4million of new manufacturing equipment at its Southampton facility.

Representing one of the marine industry’s largest single investments of 2018, the newly commissioned apparatus, and related software, will integrate seamlessly with CJR’s existing computational fluid dynamics department and according to the firm will create an end-to-end, data-driven design and manufacturing process, boasting high levels of automation.

The company hopes the new equipment will help position the company as one of the world’s most technically advanced propulsion experts and, over time, help improve quality and efficiency standards across the industry, as CJR Propulsion’s managing director, Mark Russell, explaineds:

“On a recent project, the customer estimated they will save ten percent on their annual fuel bill because of our props, so there are real, tangible benefits for boat builder or end user. We also know we can cut the time from initial contact to delivery by over 60 percent on new projects, without adding anything to the final cost so, across the board, this is great news for all our clients.”

To house the new equipment, CJR Propulsion has acquired an adjacent facility to its Southampton works, increasing its manufacturing space by more than 50 percent. The company is also providing existing staff with the opportunity to retrain to ensure the increased levels of automation doesn’t result in job losses.

The exhibition itself was opened by UK Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani. and covered 18,000m² of undercover space spread over two purpose-built exhibition halls, purpose built pontoons for more than 70 vessels and floating exhibits, providing demonstrations out on the water, quayside area for trailers, large exhibits and outdoor demonstrations and conference and meeting facilities.

Dee Caffari’s joy in final Volvo in port race

An overjoyed Dee Caffari after The Hague stopover. Brunel in-Port Race.  Photo: Marina Garcia/Volvo Ocean Race



It took until the final In-Port Race, but Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic moved off the bottom of the race leaderboard on Saturday, after securing sixth place in the Volvo Ocean Race.

The day started with SHK/Scallywag and Turn the Tide on Plastic with equal points on the overall race leaderboard. The tie-break mechanism is the finishing position in the In-Port Race Series and there, David Witt’s Scallywags held the advantage by a three-point margin.

But if Dee, a former YJA Yachtsman of the Year,  could level the score or get ahead on the In-Port Series leaderboard, then her team would lift themselves into a sixth place finish overall by winning the tie-break.

A lot of things would need to go right for Dee, and incredibly, it all came to pass.

It didn’t look good early when Turn the Tide on Plastic was penalised for not keeping clear of team AkzoNobel on a close cross. But at the next mark rounding, Scallywag hooked onto the mark, and was stopped while the rest of the fleet sailed past.

Eventually they freed themselves from the mark, but by then they were well behind and running out of time to catch up.

The last place result for Scallywag, combined with a hard-fought fourth place finish for Turn the Tide on Plastic, means Dee Caffari’s team sit in sixth place for the first time in the race.

“We had a good race, we even took a penalty today. But we had very good boat speed, made some good calls, and thankfully there were a couple of boats between us and Scallywag,” an overjoyed Dee said.

“It’s the best way to finish the campaign for us. We’ll all go away knowing we made some good finishes and and were able to come back. People didn’t know if we could do it, but we have, and it’s just rounded it all off to finish like this.”

That wasn’t the only scoreboard move on Saturday. Hometown hero Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel had a perfect start and led the race from beginning to end.

That win, combined with a third place finish on Saturday by team AkzoNobel, means the two Dutch skippers finished tied for third in the In-Port Race Series, with Team Brunel taking the tie-break for the final podium spot by virtue of a better finishing position in the final race.

“We are really happy of course, not just for ourselves but also for the Dutch public. To have us winning and team AkzoNoble come in third you can’t ask for much more than that,” Bekking said.

“It’s nice to finish racing here where I started my career sailing offshore. Very happy to finish it this way, and thankful for all the support here.”

For Bekking, the race victory puts a stamp on a career that has included eight editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. It was a fantastic day for the Dutch sailing hero to take a win.

The Brunel In-Port Race marks the last competition in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Announcements concerning the next race can be expected shortly.

Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard – Final
1. MAPFRE – 64 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 56 points
3. Team Brunel – 50 points
4. team AkzoNobel – 50 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 35 points
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 25 points
7. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 25 points

Volvo Ocean Race Overall Points Leaderboard – Final
1. Dongfeng Race Team – 73 points
2. MAPFRE – 70 points
3. Team Brunel – 69 points
4. team AkzoNobel – 59 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 39 points
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 32 points *
7. SHK / Scallywag – 32 points *

Tracy re-united with her Maiden crew


Reunion. From left to right: Sally Hunter (neé Creaser), Foredeck; Jeni Mundy, Electronics/Foredeck; Dawn Riley, Diver/Sail Trimmer; Tanja Visser, Sailmaker/Photographer; Jo Gooding, Cook; Claire Warren (neé Russell), Doctor; Mikaela Von Koskull, Helm/Sail Trimmer; Angela Heath (neé Farrell), Sail trimmer; Sarah Davies, First Reserve; Mandy Swan Neal, Rigger; Tracy Edwards MBE, Skipper
Photo credit: Michael Chester / The Maiden Factor

Yachtswoman, Tracy Edwards MBE, the first woman to hold theYJA Yachtsman of the Year title, is reuniting her legendary Maiden crew for the first time since 1990 when they became the first all female  team to sail around the World and into the record books

The crew gained acclaim for their successes in the Whitbread Round The World Race in 1989-90,  where they defied expectations and shattered glass ceilings; setting the best result for a British boat since 1977, which has remained unbeaten to this day. Their incredible story is currently being turned into a new documentary, produced by New Black Films. In honour of their reunion, the renowned sailors were treated to a private screening preview of the film currently in production, among family and friends at BAFTA in London. A story about guts, courage and determination, the documentary is set to chronicle the team’s 167-day, 32,018-mile journey around the globe, where they overcame icebergs, a tornado and five days without food. Their achievement shattered stereotypes, broke  records and paved the  way for women in sport and beyond.

Tracy, Maiden’s Skipper, said: “Today, for the first time since the end of the Whitbread, the Maiden crew are reunited.  We spent nine months together during the race and shared a truly unique experience and bond.

It has been wonderful to get back together and share  our stories and enjoy watching a preview of the  forthcoming documentary.

“Back in 1989 many people did not believe that a group of women sailors could take on such a notorious challenge, and many wrote off our chances. We not only completed the race but did so in an impressive time, coming second in our class, ahead of many all -male crews. Our  accomplishment  reached beyond the world of sailing showing that with the right support and  plenty of belief, women can do anything. ”

“Over the past 30 years, the opportunities available to women have been evolving for the better.  However, there is still so much to be done. Thanks to the generous support of  HRH Princess Haya’s  global initiative: ‘Anything is Possible’ , which supports and inspires the best in people, Maiden will set sail again this September, promoting and campaigning for educational equality across the globe.

We hope the next chapter in Maiden’s story will inspire  and empower a new generation of young girls to fulfil their dreams and reach their potential.”

Maiden will set sail later this year from Southampton to Jordan on the first leg of her three year world tour raising awareness for girls’ education. Maiden is  currently still in production stages and is  scheduled for release later this year

Tracy made history in 1989/90 as Skipper of the first all female team to compete in the Whitbread  Round The World Race. Her  accomplishment was recognised by the Queen when she  was awarded the MBE. She also became the first woman to be awarded the YJA’s Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

She is currently restoring her beloved yacht, Maiden and will be taking her on another tour with a

The foundation’s mission is to empower and educate girls. The charities it supports develop community led sustainable programmes which provide opportunities for girls to meet their potential.

Through funding, it aims to make a significant difference to girls around the world, advocate for equal human rights, and enable girls to access the basic human right to an education.  ‘Anything is Possible’, a global initiative which will support and inspire the best in people. The initiative set up by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein honours the legacy of her father, HM King Hussein I, who believed that with faith, honour and courage ‘Anything is Possible’. While less than a year old, AIP has already inspired people to realise life-long goals and tackle what they previously believed impossible.

AIP supported a successful summit attempt of Mount Everest and is now championing a three-year global voyage by Maiden, a boat famed for carrying the first  all female team to sail around the world  and into the record books.