Nominations open for Awards

YJA launches 2018 Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Award Nominations

Dateline: Sir Max Aitken Museum, Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK 
The Yachting Journalists’ Association has announced that 2018 nominations are now open for these annual awards, the Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year.
These are unique and highly prestigious awards, which recognise the incredible achievements of the UK’s sports stars on the global stage. This is the oldest yachtsman of the year trophy in the world, and the list of winners engraved upon its base is the envy of every other similar trophy.

Established in 1955, the recipients of this award have varied from prime ministers (Edward Heath) to humble adventurers (Ewen Southby-Tailyour), who rose to the occasion at a time of need. The dedication to the task of high achieving competitors, and the bravery of rescuers at a time of crisis, are amongst the stories recognised in the list of winners. Some notable people are serial winners, Sir Ben Ainslie (5 times) and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (4 times), and Dame Ellen MacArthur (3 times). The present holder is Alex Thomson, awarded for his remarkable performance in last year’s Vendée Globe solo round the world race

There are also those who started young by winning the junior award, the Young Sailor of the Year Trophy which was initiated in 1993, then going on to win the main event later in life. Last year’s winner was Montel Fagan-Jordon, aged 18, a student from the Greig Academy in Tottenham, London, who raised money to restore the 1980’s classic American Admiral’s Cup yacht Scaramouche, then led a crew of fellow students, sailing the fully restored yacht in last year’s Fastnet Race.
Nominations for these awards are open to the public, but it is the members of the Yachting Journalists’ Association who make the final decision as to whose names will grace these trophies. Over the years the members of the Association have had some difficult choices to make, but the list of winners as it stands, is a testament to the huge achievements of the British boating community. The nominations will remain open until midnight on Sunday, October 14, 2018.
Nominations may be made by email to or online:  CLICK HERE and anyone may make a nomination for consideration. Please mention which award the nomination is being made for, and include a brief description as to why you are making this nomination. Please also include your own contact details so we can request additional information if required. The winners will be announced towards the end of this year and there are sure to be many notable contenders after an incredible year of sailing achievements.
The YJA is also accepting entries for your YJA Young Blogger of the Year Awards, open for anyone under the age of 21 on  December 31, 2018. Full details available at

Cowes Honour for RSYC Young Sailor


Jake presents the trophy to Gladiator owner and skipper Tony Langley. In the picture, l to r: Tony Knight, RSYC Commodore, Lynne Chandler, Jake’s mum, Jake, Tony Langley, and Henry Porter, Gladiator crew member


A 14-year-old Hampshire schoolboy who has been learning to sail with the Royal Southampton Yacht Club has had the honour of meeting Cowes Week racing contender and international yachtsman Tony Langley in an informal but exclusive ceremony at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.

Jake was selected to present one of the principal yacht racing trophies  at Lendy Cowes Week Regatta, thanks to an innovative move by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club.

The Club’s Armitage Challenge cup was presented to Tony Langley as winner of Class Zero racing by some of the biggest yachts at the regatta on Saturday, the opening day of the Cowes regatta, and which  is always the scene of some of the most competitive action on the water by international yachtsmen in a quest for honours.

On the water at Cowes, Tony Langley’s TP52 Gladiator, led  the IRC Class Zero  and took line honours and first place on corrected time ahead of Igor Yakunin’s Ker 46 Lady Mariposa.

By contrast, newcomer Jake Mitchener, from Romsey, Hampshire has been learning to sail with the Royal Southampton Yacht Club under a special programme through the charitable RSYC Trust to widen opportunities for sailing and focussing on young carers who have taken up the challenge of looking after parents or siblin

The prizegiving took place on the lawn of the Royal Yacht Squadron on Saturday, the opening day of the regatta, and Jake was accompanied by his mother, Lynne Chandler for whom he has been helping to provide care, during health problems she has suffered, along with family members,  members of the Romsey Carers and RSYC Trust trustees Captain Martin Phipps MBE, and Graham Tracey

The Royal Southampton Yacht Club is one of the nine Solent clubs that run the annual Cowes Week Regatta in partnership and for many years has made a major contribution to the organisation of the event and this year is fielding a larger and stronger team of race officers than ever.

On the water at Cowes, leading IRC Class Zero boat, Tony Langley’s TP52 Gladiator,  took line honours and first place on corrected time ahead of Igor Yakunin’s Ker 46 Lady Mariposa.

Teenager Jake has thrived learning to sail through the Royal Southampton Yacht Club Trust which is sponsoring him at the RYA On Board club at Southampton Water Activities Centre over the summer.

The RSYC Trust’s aim is to provide opportunities for all to experience sailing. A major focus is on Young Carers and is working closely with Young Carer organisations in Southampton,  and much of Hampshire in the New Forest, Romsey, Eastleigh, Winchester, Gosport, Fareham and Princess Royal Trust for Carers.


Gladiator in action in the Class Zero competition at Cowes. Photo: Paul Wyeth/CWL


Tony Langley at the helm of Gladiator. Photo: Paul Wyeth/CWL

Royal Southampton’s Armitage Challenge Cup