The full YJA Committee for 2018-2019
Clifford Webb ( chairman)
Digby Fox (vice-chairman),
John Roberson, Amanda Fisher, Mark Jardine, Dave Selby,
Michael Ford (hon treasurer) and Chris English (hon secretary)
The full YJA Committee for 2018-2019
Clifford Webb ( chairman)
Digby Fox (vice-chairman),
John Roberson, Amanda Fisher, Mark Jardine, Dave Selby,
Michael Ford (hon treasurer) and Chris English (hon secretary)
The Yachting Journalists’ Association has a new chairman. Clifford Webb, head of a broadcast production company focussing on sailing, takes over from yachting journalist Barry Pickthall.
Cliff is presently founder and CEO of 1080 Media TV, an award winning broadcast production company established 10 years, which is mid-production with the third edition of the successful ‘The Race of Their Lives’ TV series.
This is seven one-hour adventure documentaries about the people taking part in the 2017-18 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, and which has grown to reach a global audience over the past five years. The company also covers other sports of all types, and offers audio visual services to its international roster of clients.
Cliff’s earlier career included 12-years as a photo-journalist covering, among other sports, the windsurfing world tour as the official photographer; the same for Wembley Stadium and for other major sporting events. He then became the international media director for the windsurf world tour for a four year period before leaving to establish an events management and TV production company.
This he ran for many successful years, which included covering all of the Rolex international sailing events as their official broadcast company, and the World Match Racing Tour as host broadcaster, where he was able to innovate with live coverage concepts. The company also covered countless other international events across all aspects of sailing, including the live ‘in-house’ coverage for BMW Oracle during the 2010 America’s Cup in Valencia. He then moved on to help establish Team Korea, South Korea’s first ever entry into the America’s Cup where he took the role of Media Director.
He is married with two children in their late teens.
Looking ahead . . .
Cliff says: “The Yachting Journalists’ Association has a long tradition of promoting leisure boating in all its forms, and is internationally recognised for its ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ award that dates back to 1955, so the decision to step up from the Committee to the role of Chairman of this illustrious Association, was not one to be taken lightly. Following in the footsteps of the many eminent chairmen that have gone before, I hope that we as the Committee can help support, encourage and build on the triumphs that our members achieve on a daily basis around the world in their coverage.
“One of the goals we are actively targeting is an increase in membership, especially given the diverse nature in which ‘media’ is now created and consumed by everyone through the extraordinary growth of social media in the past few years. The ‘traditional’ journalists and photographers that I have worked with for many years are still there, but the diversity and ease in being able to reach an eager audience nowadays is possible like never before in history. Anyone with a mobile phone can send an image, a video or a cleverly written ‘tweet’ to a global community, and while some may argue that the market is becoming diluted for our business through this, others have leapt at the opportunity and found a way to grow their income. The YJA has to move with the times too, and opening up membership to those working in sailing and the wider marine industry through PR, advertising and public information services, plus students of journalism was a hugely positive step that we want to encourage and rapidly grow now.
“The recently established ‘Young Bloggers Competition’ was the perfect showcase for entrants under 21 years of age, and the winners were delighted with the GoPro camera they won, together with the prestige of being publicly recognised, and we hope that with this encouragement and recognition, they can go on to make a successful career in the business. This too is one of our goals and visions, which is to support, encourage and attract newcomers, being able to give them the benefit of our experience and see them blossom. I have been fortunate to have been able to do this for quite a few years now, having brought in many camera operators, editors and scriptwriters to the amazing world of sailing for the first time. Right now we have a camera operator who had never sailed before, who is on the Clipper Race, documenting everything from her own training through to race finish after 18 months of hard, and continually improving, creative work. Two of the present VOR On Board reporters went through the same process with us on the Clipper Race, and it’s marvellous to enjoy their success and see them continuing to achieve. All of our members can contribute to this goal, and encourage others to join.
“We are also embarking on a new initiative to expand our sphere of benefits for the core of the Association, our members, and we are looking for support from companies involved in all aspects of the marine, sailing and boating industries in this endeavour, the markets that our members are actively involved with. We will be launching a ‘partners’ opportunity very shortly, which will encompass the ‘Yachtsman of the Year Award’, the winners of which are a veritable ‘who’s who’ of sailing, and also the ‘Young Sailor of The Year award’, which has proven extremely successful too. This along with a revised and upgraded website where all of our members can showcase their work and be contacted directly, plus a regular newsletter, and an enhanced social media presence.
“It’s going to take some time to get the YJA into the updated shape that we feel this historic Association merits, but we are determined that with a lot of help and support from everyone involved now, old and young, we can create a modern, thriving and forward looking Yachting Journalists’ Association that can pave the way for future generations in the business, whatever shape that future or ‘business’ may take.”
YOUNG BLOGGER 2017 WINNERS
Dateline March 5, 2018: Monique (15) and her brother Ollie Vennis-Ozanne (13) from Fareham, Hampshire, are worthy winners of the first YJA Young Blogger of the Year Competition. Their video on last year’s Ovington Junior Inland Sailing Championship at Rutland Water was headlined at the Prizegiving held at the RYA Dinghy Show, Alexandra Palace, London on Saturday, March 3. The judges determined that this young brother and sister team, who are looking to make a first break into sailing journalism. showed remarkable professionalism, mixing drone footage with crew interviews and running commentary
Monique and Ollie Vennis-Ozanne won the latest GoPro video camera presented by 1080 Media TV, whose managing director, Cliff Webb said: “The standard of entries for this first YJA Young Blogger Competition was encouragingly high and we as a company would be very happy to give these two an opportunity to gain work experience within the industry.”
A quartet of talented youngsters were shortlisted from a wide entry encompassing all media skills from video, photography, standard blogs to an e.book and paintings.
Ollie Perkins (16) from Guildford, Surrey, for his widely praised book on weather forcasting titled The Message of the Clouds
Andrew Shrimpton (16) from Gosport for his interesting video presentation on the 2016 Round The Island Race.
Frances Fox (16) from Bath who wrote an instructive blog titled Top 10 Topper Tips
Cathal McCahey (21) from Dublin who made an instructional video news presentation profiling Ireland’s 2020 49er Olympic hopefuls;
James Tomlinson (17) from Cowes, Isle of Wight for his illustrated blog on a day of racing in the Solent
Charlie Cadin (15) from Jersey for his video presentation on the 2017 Round the Island
Julius Hornung (19) from Portsmouth for his photographic blog covering a day’s yacht racing in the Solent
Daniel Keenan (15) from Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire for his blog on competing in the RYA Zoning Junior dinghy championships at Rutland Water
Rosa May-Brown (15) from Teignmouth, Devon for her illustrated guide on what to pack for a sea voyage
Yana Skvortsova (16) from Guildford, Surrey for her stylised paintings of Topper dinghies racing.
In association with:
Round the world tenacity is rewarded
Tottenham schoolboy clinches Young Sailor trophy
|click on pictures to download hi-res files|
|Round the world solo yachtsman Alex Thomson has clinched the premier sailing award, the YJA’s Yachtsman of the Year. . Photo Jari Salo
|Tottenham schoolboy, Montel Fagan-Jordan, aged 17 has won the Young Sailor of the Year trophy. Photo: Cliff Webb|
|Montel at the helm
To View a BBC News video
|The magnificent Yachtsman of the Year trophy. photo: Sam Kurtul|
Alex Thomson, left and Montel Fagan-Jordan, right, receive yachting’s coveted trophies from YJA chairman Barry Pickthall, centre
Dateline: Trinity House, London.
British round the world sailor Alex Thomson returned to the UK to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year trophy at the London Boat Show for his remarkable performance in last year’s Vendée Globe solo round the world race.
The 43-year-old Welshman from Hampshire, not only set the fastest times from the start at Les Sables d’Olonne, France to the Equator (9 days 7hrs 2mins) and the Cape of Good Hope (17 days 22hrs 58 mins) but a 24 hour solo monohull record of 537 nautical miles – an average of 22.4 knots.
Joining an elite group of yachtsman that includes Sir Francis Chichester, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir Ben Ainslie, Thomson’s tenacity shone through on Day 13 of the race in overcoming a near-terminal setback when his Open 60 yacht Hugo Boss hit an unidentified object, snapping off the yacht’s starboard foil. The damage severely hampered his progress over the rest of the 27,000 mile course, but despite this and continued problems with his autopilot, Thomson still finished the race with the second fastest time on record – 74 days 19 h 35 min 15 sec – just 16 hours behind French winner Armel Le Cléac’h, setting a new British record for an East/west solo circumnavigation.
Voted on by members of the Yachting Journalists’ Association, Alex Thomson’s nomination beat two other great performances last year: World No 1 ranked 49er pair Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell won gold in a history-making feat at the class World Championships in Porto, Portugal, and Paul Goodison winner of the Moth World Championships for the second year in succession.
This was Thomson’s 4th attempt at winning the Vendée Globe and he said at the presentation that he had promised his wife that this would be his last . “The first two ended in retirement, and I finished 3rd in the 2012/13 race, and 24 hours before I returned completing this last one in 2nd, I rang my wife and said ‘The first question I will be asked is whether I will do the race again.” and she agreed that having finished 3rd and 2nd it would be criminal to not try one more to win the race. So we start building a new boat in late Spring. There are three elements needed to win a race like this: Time, money…and the right people around you. We are putting those building blocks together now for a final attempt to win.”
Thomson had a few words of encouragement for 18-year-old Montel Fagan-Jordon, winner of the YJA’s Young Sailor of the Year award who appeared on BBC Breakfast Time TV yesterday to talk about his ambitions to follow in Thomson’s footsteps. The student from the Greig Academy in Tottenham, London won his award for his leadership in first raising the money to restore the 1980s classic American Admiral’s Cup yacht Scaramouche, then leading a crew of fellow students to compete in last year’s 605 mile Fastnet Race.
Nominated by his school teacher, Jon Holt says of Montel: “This was unique yachting project in which a multi-cultural crew spent three years undertaking more than 50 fund-raising talks to buy and restore the famous Gérman Frers designed yacht. Montel is able to helm almost any yacht. Not only was he the driving force behind Scaramouche — raising most of the money himself, but then developed as the helmsman, after receiving tuition from David Beford and Lawrie Smith. In 2017 he entered the Etchells 22 class Gertrude Cup and finished 4th overall before steering the Lloyds X55 class yacht during Cowes Week. He steered Scaramouche for most of the Fastnet Race
Given that Scaramouche is an old yacht, which rolls madly, his ability to hold a course for four hours in the dark, surfing down wind without broaching was amazing. Scaramouche may have finished 142 out of 368, but as a school team in an old yacht, they more than proved their point.”
The famous trophy was inaugurated back in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, and past holders include the biggest and most successful names in the sport. Eric Hiscock, Francis Chichester, Olympic medalists Keith Musto, Rodney Pattisson and Iain Macdonald-Smith, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (4 time winner) Sir Chay Blyth, Eric Tabarly, Pete Goss, Dame Ellen MacArthur (twice) and of course Sir Ben Ainslie (also 4 times)
YJA Young Sailor of the Year, 2017
The 2017 YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award goes to 17-year-old Montel Fagan-Jordan from Tottenham, London in recognition of his leadership in first raising the money to restore the 1980s classic American Admiral’s Cup yacht Scarmouche, then leading a crew of fellow students from the Greig Academy in Tottenham to compete in last year’s 605-mile Fastnet Race.
Nominated by his school teacher, Jon Holt says of Montel: “This was unique yachting project in which a multi-cultural crew spent three years undertaking more than 50 fund-raising talks to buy and restore the famous Gérman Frers designed yacht. Montel is able to helm almost any yacht. Not only was he the driving force behind Scaramouche — raising most of the money himself, but then developed as the helmsman, after receiving tuition from David Beford and Lawrie Smith. In 2017 he entered the Etchells 22 class Gertrude Cup and finished 4th overall before steering the Lloyds X55 class yacht Lutine during Cowes Week. He steered Scaramouche for most of the Fastnet Race
Given that Scarmaouche is an old yacht, which rolls madly, his ability to hold a course for four hours in the dark, surfing down wind without broaching was amazing. Scaramouche may have finished 142 out of 368, but as a school team in an old yacht, they more than proved their point.”
Other worthy performances short-listed for the YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award were:
Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling (19)
Crispin and Tom won gold at the Youth Sailing World Championships sailing a 29er class dinghy at the event held in Auckland, New Zealand in December 2016. in December 2016. The two from Hayling Island and Birmingham also won a number of 29er domestic and international events including the 29er Inland Championships, a Grand Prix event and Eurocup. Beaumont and Darling have since transitioned to the Olympic 470 class and now part of the British Sailing Team’s Podium Potential Pathway squad.
Matilda Nicholls (16)
Winner of the Laser Radial Girls under 17 World Championships. Matilda, who started sailing in Bermuda in an Optimist when she was eight, has forged herself a reputation as one of the brightest young British sailing stars having also captured Laser 4.7 under-16 European Championship gold last year. She ended the season by scooping the Women’s Laser Radial Inland National Championship at Rutland Water.
The Portsmouth based sailor also competed in her first RYA Youth Nationals at Hayling Island, competing in the girls’ Laser Radial class where she finished runner-up in the under-19 category and fourth in the under-21s age group.
The success of this Portsmouth High School student was crowned when became the Under-17 Champion at the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Nieuwpoort, Belgium in August. She went on to compete at the senior National Championships later in the summer where she finished eighth overall and first youth girl
17 year old Montel Fagan-Jordan from the Greig Academy in Tottenham; London is presented with the YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award by former Olympic Silver medalist and Yachtsman of the Year winner Keith Musto MBE; and Barry Pickthall; Chairman of the Yachting Journalists’ Photo: Cliff Webb
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It is with great sadness that we report the passing of two of our media family in December — Television sports editor Neil Mallard, a long-standing YJA committee member, and BBC broadcaster Dennis Skillicorn, long time friend of the YJA.
NEIL MALLARD. A personal tribute by Bob Fisher
Neil Mallard died three days short of his 87th Birthday. A career in journalism began with the Wembley News in 1946 and was interrupted by National Service two years later. Demobbed, he went to the Paddington Mercury, and from there to the Press Office in Wembley Stadium. At this time he moved frequently but always with personal promotion in mind. Fleet Street was an obvious aim. It came with a move to the Sports Desk of the News Chronicle.
Dennis Skillicorn. Born 24.1.32 died 21. 12. 17 aged 85 Tribute by Barry Pickthall
Britain’s top yachting awards
Search is on to find the YJA Yachtsman of the Year 2017 and YJA Young Sailor of the Year 2017
New Young Bloggers Award
YJA Chairman Barry Pickthall, left and Pete Bradshaw, chief executive of Premier Marinas, launch the awards.
All Photos: Sam Kurtul
Nominations for Yachtsman and Young Sailor now closed
Nominations for the 2017 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Awards have opened to start the selection process of finding Britain’s top Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the year.
The new YJA Young Bloggers Competition, intended to give young bloggers, journalists,video and photographers and aspiring radio presenters a chance to get their first break in yachting journalism has also been launched.
Nominations for both awards and the Young Bloggers competition were launched at the Yachtmarket.com Southampton Boat Show, and close on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Nominations may be made online via the YJA website as well as the Boat Show and Premier Marinas websites. Nomination forms were also be available on other exhibition stands, and are available at yacht clubs, and all nine Premier Marinas in the South.
YJA Chairman Barry Pickthall said: “Our awards represent the pinnacle of sailing achievement and are a measure of the very best skills and prowess among established yachtsmen and women and the stars of the future. The current Yachtsman of the Year also demonstrated extreme bravery.”
HOW TO ENTER
Nominations for the two prestigious awards may be made by the public and anyone within the yachting community and can include those invoved in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, offshore and ocean racing, short-handed and long distance cruising and from the world of power boating. Entries for the Young Bloggers competition are expected to attract interest from young journalists and photographers anxious to break into yachting journalism.
The awards provide an opportunity for the public to make their yachting heroes or rising stars and celebrate the achievements of up and coming talent.
Barry Pickthall encourages the yachting community to make their nominations without delay. “Don’t rely on someone else to nominate successes achieved by British yachtsmen and women or the Young Sailor of the Year award which gives enormous inspiration and encuragement to tomorrow’s world champions. Nominating couldn’t be simpler.”
Nominations can be made online at www.yja.world or by posting back one of the nomination cards distributed throughout the Boat Show to yacht clubs across the country and from any Premier Marinas’ site across the south of England.
Nominations for the Yachtsman and Young Sailor awards are welcome until Sunday, October 29, 2017. Entries for the Young Bloggers competition close on November 30. The winners for each award will be announced on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Trinity House, London.
Established in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, Battle of Britain pilot, chirman of Express Newspapers and himself a leading yachtsman in both sail and power, the Yachtsman of the Year is now established as one of the top yachting honours. Previous winners include Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur and four time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie. The Young Sailor award was first made in 1983.
The current title holders are Gavin Reid, a 28-year-old adventurer who took part in the 2015-2016 Clipper Round the World Race for amateur sailors, for his heroic mid-ocean rescue of a sailor found trapped at the top of the mast on another yacht with the 2016 boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award and Elliott Kuzyk, then 15, from Poole, Dorset who won the 2016 Young Sailor award after winning the 2016 Topper World championship.
Current Yachtsman of the
Year, Gavin Reid Current Young Sailor of the Year, Elliott Kuzyk
NOMINATIONS may be made for the Yachtsman and Young Sailor awards and the new YJA Blogger competition may be made below.