Closer ties across the Solent

David Gower, Commodore Royal London Yacht Club


Two of the most prominent South Coast yacht clubs have established a unique “mutuality agreement”  allowing members to share each other’s facilities and could lead to joint on the water events.

The Royal London Yacht Club based on the waterfront at the Solent sailing mecca of Cowes, and the Royal Southampton Yacht Club which is focussing its clubhouse activities at Gins, on the historic maritime centre of the Beaulieu River have established the accord to develop closer ties either side of the Solent, which is one of the most favoured leisure sailing waters in the country.  Both clubs play an instrumental role in the organisation of the world famous Cowes Week regatta.

Anthony Knight, Commodore Royal Southampton Yacht Cluh

In a joint statement, both clubs say the agreement is offered in the spirit of one sailor helping another at sea with the RLYC extending a welcome to members of the RSYC to their clubhouse at Cowes, and the RSYC doing likewise to members of the RLYC to their clubhouse on the Beaulieu River.

David Gower, Commodore of the Royal London, and Anthony Knight, Commodore of the Royal Southampton, said:  “Members are invited to enjoy the facilities at either clubhouse, including the use of sailing dinghies and canoes at Gins, both as visitors and to participate in selected events to which they will be invited.  Members of either club will be able to use the club owned moorings of the other, essentially on weekdays and outside of event regattas, always providing they are not needed for the host Club’s members.”

Under the agreement the RSYC will be able to hold gala and other events at the RLYC from time to time whether on their own account or jointly with the RLYC.

Botth Commodores make it clear that the two clubs, will preserving their separate identities, but will look for synergies in other areas including investigating the viability of some shared administrative services and looking at how their respective race management teams, both of whom work at Cowes Week, can collaborate to improve the racing experience.

They say the “Mutuality Agreement” will be reviewed in December 2019.



Young Bloggers – win Musto kit!

Musto is encouraging youngsters to send media entries about sailing to the Yachting Journalists’ Association’s Young Bloggers Competition.

The top prize is a £100 Musto voucher plus an item of their choice from the classy British Sailing Team merchandise collectioncheck it out here – to be awarded at the RYA Dinghy Show in March next year.

Says Nick Houchin from Musto: “We’re involved in all levels of sailing, from grass roots youth sailing to supplying the official kit for ocean racing professionals and the British Sailing Team, so it’s very rewarding for us to encourage the next generation of reporters to share their enthusiasm. “

Digby Fox of the YJA adds: “I’ve always loved the media side of our sport, it’s full of great characters and stories and it’s so visual. I thought the recent batch of media coming off the Volvo Ocean Race boats was outstanding, so maybe this will be a stepping stone in that direction.”

If you’re under 21, send a blog, article, video, photo or audio piece to by December 31st to enter. If the file is over 10 Megs, use a WeTransfer link.

The Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) is the top marine media professionals’ network, recognised worldwide. Shortlisted entries to the competition will receive a 2019 photo ID Press Card for free access to boat shows.


Terms and Conditions

Entrants must be under the age of 21 on December 31, 2018. Entries close at Midnight UTC on December 31, 2018. Entrants can submit multiple entries to the competition

The YJA reserves the right to publish entries – with full credits – on the YJA web site and to offer submissions to publishers and producers free of charge to promote your work and the competition on other media related web sites.

Competition entries must be produced entirely by the entrant. The YJA reserves the right to reject entries that show plagiarism or outside assistance, and where complex post-production techniques have been employed, entrants may be required to provide a detailed description of how these were achieved.

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.

Beneteau partners with Yacht Racing Forum

September 17, 2018 – The Yacht Racing Forum has announced a partnership with Groupe Beneteau, the market leader for motorboats and leading sailboats producer. The exciting new Figaro Beneteau 3 will be exhibited in front of the Cité de la Voile Eric Tabarly. This boat is the latest incarnation of what Beneteau believes a cutting-edge competition sailboat should be, with a new radical foiling system that not only generates lift but also reduces drag and stabilizes while heeling.

“We are proud to welcome Beneteau as a partner & exhibitor”, says Bernard Schopfer, the organiser of the Yacht Racing Forum. “The Figaro Beneteau 3  is a cutting edge race boat that has the potential to become an Olympic offshore Class; a project that is dear to most Yacht Racing Forum participants and that will be debated next month. Beneteau’s involvement in the Forum also opens up new perspectives for the Forum, confirming our mission to address the elite of sailing as well as a wider and less specialised audience. ”

Gianguido Girotti, General Manager at Beneteau, will introduce the Figaro Beneteau 3 and discuss its potential Olympic future on October 22. “Joining the Yacht Racing Forum is a great opportunity for Beneteau to reach out to the sports leading personalities from all over the world, and to share our vision for the future of the sport. It is important for us, as a leading brand, to be part of the leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing.”

The Yacht Racing Forum 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:

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

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: