Peta’s 25 year anniversary

The leisure marine consultancy PR Works is celebrating 25 years. Founder and YJA corporate member, Peta Stuart-Hunt, says it has been a fascinating and rewarding journey. “I have been fortunate to work with many wonderful clients, the most iconic events and a vast array of industry media contacts.”

Peta has enjoyed working on corporate accounts and sailing events such as the unforgettable AC Jubilee and two British Steel Challenge races.  In 2010 she ran the PR for Exercise Transglobe (Joint Services) and handled the media requirements for two Royal Yacht Squadron Westward Cups, launched RYA Sailability and was editor of its magazine ‘Foghorn’.

She has also handled national media campaigns for Sailing Logic, Sail TV, was Press Officer for the Sail Power & Watersports Show (Earls Court), PR for Scorpion RIBs, and spent three years managing the PR for World Cruising Club whilst more recently fitting in the Andrew Simpson Foundation and Bart’s Bash.

Peta pays tribute to Nick Gill without whom she says she wouldn’t have had the faith in her own capabilities nor the wherewithal to go it alone. “We worked together for 15 incredible years. Nick and his then Marketing Manager Liz Rushall, put their trust in me and gave me the confidence I needed to carve out a solo career.”  

She has since worked with “many of the nicest people and some of the best events.”  She continues, “There will always be a very special place in my heart for Cowes Week and Skandia who were the title sponsor during my eight years as Event Press Officer. When Skandia moved on so did I, taking up the reins as Event Press Officer for the iconic Round the Island Race for a further seven years.”

Peta’s work with the Round the Island Race was hugely rewarding as she made the role her own, bringing creative ideas to the table, delivering opportunities for the race sponsors and engaging with all stakeholders. She also served on the Island Sailing Club’s Race Marketing Committee.

In tandem, Peta was also fortunate to be working closely with the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, thanks to member and journalist John Walker. He brought her on board to help plan and deliver the Club’s 175th Anniversary celebrations.  After that, she was asked to join the Club’s Marketing Committee and as she puts it, “they hung onto me.”

In 2017 Peta became a founding Trustee of Sail Aid UK, the charity set up in the wake of the devastating Caribbean hurricanes. She is now enjoying her new role as Press & PR Manager for the Cruising Association.

“My heartfelt thanks to everyone with whom I have had the pleasure to work over the past 25 years.”

Vigil over sailing waters

HRH The Princess Royal climbed a 100 ft ladder yesterday to see for herself the measures taken to maintain a safety vigil over the waters of the Solent, one of the busiest waterways in the world where leisure craft and commercial shipping vie for sailing space.

The Princess is patron of the National Coastwatch Institution and was at Calshot Tower where teams of volunteer watchkeepers maintain a daylight surveillance of the Solent and Southampton Water, year round.

But the tower’s viewing platform is near the top of the tower, 100 ft above ground level, and the only means of access is by way of vertical ladders inside the tower.

But once on the platform the Princess shared the panoramic view which watch keepers have daily, a 360-degree view over both the Solent and Southampton Water.

The Princess who arrived by helicopter, was met by the deputy Lord Lieutenant for Hampshire, Vice-Admiral Sir David Steel and introduced to Councillor Elaine Still, leader of Hampshire County Council; Councillor Mel Kendall, chair of New Forest Council,; Commander Lesley Suddes, chair of National Coastwatch Institution; Blake Holt, deputy chariot the Institution; and Steven Kingdon, DLA Calshot RNLI, along with Roger Taylor, Calshot NCI deputy station manager and Colin Lewis, senior watchkeeper.

After visiting the tower, the Princess met six groups of watchkeepers and presented epaulettes to new deputy station manager, five-year certificate to four watchkeepers and unveiled a plaque which will be fixed to the tower.

The tower itself on a mile-long sand and shingle bank at the seaward end of Southampton Water has been part of the National Coastwatch network keeping a visual eye on Britain’s coastline since 2010 and assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea around the coast. It is owned by Associated British Ports and built in 1973 as part of the port of Southampton’s radar chain and served as a Coastguard lookout until the 1990s and became the NCI station in the summer of 2010.

Like similar look-out stations around Britain’s coast, it is manned by a team of fully trained and dedicated volunteers who keep a daylight watch up to 365 days a year.

From the tower, watchkeepers have a view of about 11 nautical miles over the Solent and Southampton Water which is the approach to one of the country’s busiest ports with constant commercial traffic which includes the world’s largest cruise ships, container vessels and oil tankers as well as ferry services.

Over 6,500 major vessel movements were logged by the watchkeepers in one year, although their priority is to keep a look out for more vulnerable craft particularly in summer when thousands of yachts take to the same waters. More than 200 yachts could be within sight of the tower on any day in the summer.