Restart Sailing Media Group

#RestartSailing Survey

The UK government’s easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has brought relief to many aspects of life and, particularly certain sports. Sailing is one of those fortunate past-times that is now allowed in England, along with all other forms of watersports practiced on open waterways, including windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority).

Sarah Treseder, Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Chief Executive has been quoted as saying: “We are pleased that Government guidance has confirmed that all forms of watersports including sailing, windsurfing and motor-boating are not only permitted, but are being actively encouraged in England.”

She is quoted as adding that: “We are aware that marinas, clubs and other venues are working hard to facilitate a safe return to boating activities, although it will inevitably take a while before the full infrastructure is operational.”

This last remark echoes the concerns raised by Restart Sailing’s recent survey of Sailing Clubs, the marine industry and interested individuals. While the return to the water is welcomed, it will be some time before normal service is resumed. Most worrying is the need to protect institutions and businesses starved of income and at risk of permanent closure leaving sailors unable to practice their sport.

The survey was undertaken prior to the recent easing, but according to Simon Lovesey, founder of Restart Sailing, the results remain relevant and offer a glimpse into the difficulties faced by the sport. “The key takeaways are that individuals, clubs and businesses are desperate to see a return to on the water activity provided it can be done safely and responsibly,” says Lovesey. “However, there is widespread concern that the lockdown will take considerable time to unwind and some clubs and businesses may not survive.”

  • The survey’s Executive Summary highlights a number of issues, many of which are common to other sporting activities:
     The sailing sector (clubs, classes and trade) is facing massive financial struggle with all activity cancelled and drops in membership renewals and other expenditure
     59% of respondents believe that financial concerns will continue into the foreseeable future as Government financial support fails to reach all parts of the sector.
     Real concern exists over the length of time and amount of money that will be required to restart as facilities and equipment have been effectively mothballed
     Advice and guidance from the Government, Local Authorities and the RYA during the period of lockdown has been mixed
     Covid-19 has created a lack of confidence in people and this may inhibit the return to sport
     Equally, if the sport is seen to return to early and irresponsibly there could be real reputational damage

Interestingly, on the positive side, the respondents indicated that Covid-19 could present opportunities to reboot the sport and institute much needed reform. Overwhelmingly, respondents felt that there was a need for better communication from the authorities and that similar situations in the future would be better managed with proper planning, greater agility and acting earlier.

Respondents are hopeful that at the end of the pandemic there will be lasting evidence of change in habits with greater emphasis on local events and support for local clubs and businesses. Reducing costs, improving use of technology and addressing the sport’s environmental impact are priorities.

In the immediate term, respondents are keen to see proper well thought through guidance on measures that will help reduce the risk of contagion. The continued focus on hygiene is seen as critical, as is introducing clear, simple to follow social distancing rules in marinas and boat parks. Sailing events should only be conducted if and so long as protective measures are easy to institute, follow and enforce.

Passing of Basil D’Oliviera

We are saddened to hear of the passing of former YJA member Wing Commander Basil D’Oliveira OBE who died peacefully at home with his family on the May 10, aged 92. Basil, who was Captain of the Queens Flight was also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a correspondent for Yachting World. He was also an active member of YJA committee.

Return to boating

Words by Peta Stuart-Hunt

The Cruising Association confirms that, from yesterday, and  subject to local regulations, all forms of watersports, including the use of privately-owned motorised craft, can go ahead in England.

In guidance issued yesterday the Government has confirmed that:’All forms of water sports practised on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed.’

The Cruising Association says “The re-opening of marinas (like golf courses), for leisure boating customers, is now permissible subject to the strict compliance to social distancing and hygiene guidelines provided by government.”
Although government restrictions on outdoor activities have been lifted, many of our members’ facilities have not had the time to implement the measures set out by government to safely manage the gathering of people on their sites. There are variations in the relaxation of the rules and we therefore recommend that CA members check with their individual port or harbour authority, marina or inland or other navigation authority prior to taking any further action.

It has been confirmed that the Canal & River Trust and the Broads is able to welcome boaters back from today. On the Canal & River Trust waterways short boating trips can take place – avoiding use of locks and any staff-operated structures if possible – providing, as per current government guidance, boaters do not stay away from home overnight and return to home moorings (where possible).

Guidance for the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differs and therefore marinas that operate in the UK outside of England should remain closed to leisure customers until they are permitted by their government to open.

UK Government News: Coronavirus – Guidance on access to green spaces
For up-to-date information on Covid-19 Cruising Restrictions please visit the CA’s Covid-19 Restrictions on Cruising web page.

New trustees for sailing restoration project

New trustees for sailing restoration project

The Scaramouche Sailing Trust, set up to restore a 1980s classic American Admiral’s Cup yacht, and close to the heart of the Yachting Journalists’ Association has appointed a new board of Trustees: Alex Jacobs, Allie Smith, Andrew Pindar and Damilola Ajaboona to help bring bring a wealth of knowledge and support to take the charity to the next level and transform more lives through sailing.

The yacht first came to the attention of the YJA in 2017 when when 17-year-old Tottenham schoolboy Montel Fagan-Jordan won the YJA’s Young Sailor of the Year title in recognition of his leadership in first raising the money to restore the 1980s classic yacht, then leading a crew of fellow students from the Greig Academy in Tottenham to compete in the 605 mile Fastnet Race.

Since 2014 Jon Holt, Head of Sixth Form and Outdoor Education at Greig City Academy, has led an extraordinary group of people to develop and lay the foundations of this unique school sailing project. It soon became very clear that the work they were doing was transforming the lives of the students that took part and securing its future was paramount. The Scaramouche Sailing Trust was established and, in 2019, became recognised as a UK charity.

“I’m thrilled to welcome the new Trustees to our board,” comments Jon Holt. “They bring the range of skills and experience we need to build the Scaramouche Sailing Trust into a sustainable charity. It is the obvious next step and consolidates everything we have achieved so far. We very much hope to be able to us inspire many more state schools to benefit from the incredible opportunities of sailing.”

Allie Smith and Andrew Pindar, known to many in the sailing world bring a wealth of knowledge and shared experiences to the charity.

Allie has been part of the Scaramouche journey from the start. Skilled in events and logistics having worked alongside many eminent UK sailors, Allie prepared Scaramouche for her original Fastnet Race campaign. As a qualified Skipper and having raced around the world, Allie is ideally positioned to guide the sailing programme, while also inspiring the girls’ side of the project.

Andrew is an avid and hugely respected supporter of sailing campaigns. His name has been linked to Emma Sanderson (Richards) MBE, the late quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister, Olympic Gold Medallist Hannah Mills and many others including the whole US Sailing Team. His unrivalled experience and network are huge assets to the charity.
Damilola is perhaps closest to the project as a former pupil of Grieg City Academy. He has worked alongside Jon Holt, and knows first-hand what sailing and outdoor education as a whole can offer students from inner-city London schools. He is able to link the practical elements of the charity’s activities with educational aspects that are not available in the classroom.

Allie, Andrew and Damilola are led by Alex Jacobs, who chairs the board. He has over 25 years’ experience of working in charities, including supporting many start-ups. He shares a passion for sailing, as a keen Laser sailor, and is located near to Greig City Academy. Alex guides the Trust helping to strategically position it for the challenging seas that lie ahead.
The Scaramouche Sailing Trust is the official charity of Cowes Week 2020 and has recently announced DUAL Group as a new partner. The charity continues to look for major founding donors, as well as those who feel they can financially contribute a small monthly amount. The work of the Trust depends wholly on the generosity of donors. Those interested in contributing to this important education sailing project can make donations directly at

Scaramouche and the team from theAcademy after the Rolex Fastnet Race

Notice of Annual General Meeting


It is now imperative that we continue to increase our membership as the current and increasingly ageing listings are failing to raise sufficient funds to support the costs of managing the Association. In support of this your Committee have agreed to modify the Constitution in order to make membership more relevant and attractive to those who are developing new methods of communication for those involved in our sport & hobby. The proposed variations to the existing Constitution are shown marked in red and are attached to this Notice of AGM.

In view of the current Coronavirus Pandemic this year’s AGM will be held via a FREE Video Link (Log On details below) which will take place at 1200 Noon BST on Thursday, May 21, 2020. If however you are unable to attend, but wish to Vote or Nominate another member for a position on the Committee, you should make your intentions known, in advance, to the Secretary at least 14 days prior to the date and time of the meeting. Any such submissions MUST be made in writing, either by Email to, or by post to YJA Secretary, 45 The Ridgway, Brighton BN2 6PD and with regard to Committee Nominations, include the written agreement of the Nominee.

Please ALSO find attached the AGM Agenda, the proposed revised Constitution and the list of those Officers and Members of the Committee who have agreed to seek re-election.

I look forward to either seeing you “in vision” on May 21 or hearing from you with any Committee Nomination and your votes for both the Association’s Officers and Committee and the Constitutional Amendments.


Chris English
YJA Secretary

To join the YJA Zoom Meeting highlight the following link, then right click and select Open Hyperlink

When requested, pleased enter the following:-
Meeting ID: 879 2848 0595
Password: 2EUTxi

PLEASE NOTE Your microphone will be automatically muted on joining the meeting. If you wish to speak, please unmute your microphone, speak and then re-mute again, otherwise the background noise will build up.
In order that we may start on time please join the meeting a few minutes before the 1200 Noon start time.
As Zoom meetings are time limited, please be concise and keep your Questions/Comments as brief as possible. If you encounter any problems connecting to the meeting, please ‘phone Cliff on 07900 696724.


CLICK HERE for Constitution Change proposals

CLICK HERE for present Committee and Officers

Present Committee and Officers

The Officers and committee proposed for election at the AGM are:

The Lord Ambrose Greenway – President
Cliff Webb — Chairman
Mark Jardine — Vice Chairman
Chris English — Hon Secretary
Mike Ford — Hon Treasurer and Webmaster
Jimmy Cornell
John Roberson
Peta Stuart-Hunt
Amanda Fisher

YJA AGM Agenda

Annual General Meeting


In recognition of the Coronavirus Pandemic the Annual General Meeting of the Yachting Journalists’ Association will be held remotely by Zoom Video Conferencing on Thursday, May 21, 2020
commencing at 12 Noon BST.

To conduct the following business:

1. Minutes of last AGM, held on May 16, 2019

2. Matter Arising

3. Chairman’s Report

4. Finance Report

5. Re-Election of President – Lord Ambrose Greenway has agreed to serve for a further year (tbc)

6. Re-Election of Chairman – Cliff Webb has agreed to serve a further year

7. Re-Election of Vice Chairman – Mark Jardine has agreed to serve a further year

8. Election of Officers – Secretary – Chris English (Appointed by the Committee)

9. Election of Officers – Treasurer & Webmaster – Mike Ford (Appointed by the Committee)

10. Election of Committee – As list previously circulated and available here

11. To consider amendments to the Constitution as previously circulatedand available here

12. AOB — At the sole discretion of the Chairman