Southampton International Boat Show Postponed



THE 52nd edition of Southampton International Boat Show, due to take place in September has been postponed.

Organisers, British Marine said it would be put off until September 2021 in the wake of CONVID-19 and latest government guidelines on staging large scale gatherings.

However, with the government announcement that a timetable for events will be revealed next week, British Marine will be continuing to explore the options to run an alternative, smaller scale outdoor event.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine said, “The world is in an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and public health is everyone’s priority. Annually Southampton International Boat Show attracts an attendance of over 100,000, with over 430 exhibitors. An event of this size and format is simply not possible this year and as such, we have made the decision to postpone it until September 2021.”

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture, Southampton City Council, commented: “Southampton is known for its jam-packed events calendar and the Boat Show is one of our biggest and most popular features, attracting tens of thousands of people into our city and putting Southampton on the map. We are keen to revive Southampton’s thriving events offer while working within public health advice and government guidelines. We look forward to welcoming back the Boat Show and celebrating everything our great city has to offer, when it is safe to do so.”

On behalf of the leisure marine industry, British Marine has been working tirelessly with event stakeholders, including Southampton City Council, to consider all options for staging an event.

Lesley Robinson continues; “As government guidance on COVID-19 evolves, British Marine will continue to work with both exhibitors and key event stakeholders to explore all other opportunities, including an alternative smaller scale outdoor event to support the leisure marine industry and its members. British Marine are encouraged by today’s government announcement that they will be setting out a timetable for getting events as COVID-19 secure as possible next week.”

Lesley said, “We’re naturally very disappointed that we cannot run the event this year in its usual magnitude and format, but the Southampton International Boat Show is a key international event, which will be back stronger than ever in 2021.  We will ensure that we make the 52nd edition one to remember.”

Cowes Week Cancelled

Photo: Cowes Week Ltd

Cowes Week Limited organiser of the UK’s largest and best-known sailing event, has today announced the cancellation of the 2020 Cowes Week regatta.

The CWL team say it had hoped that it would be possible to hold the much-loved regatta this summer for the competitors, sponsors and spectators who come together to make it a success. However, despite the encouraging progress that is being made towards the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that running a large event in nine weeks’ time, that will bring many thousands of visitors to the small town of Cowes, will not be possible while sufficiently protecting all those involved.

Laurence Mead, Regatta Director, said “We know that this will be a huge disappointment to many, as indeed it is to the team at Cowes Week. We waited for as long as we realistically could to see how the situation might develop, on the basis that our competitors would want us to run the regatta if it were possible.  We appreciate the patience that everybody has shown while we have worked through different scenarios and would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who have been on stand-by, ready to jump into action if needed.”

Kate Johnson, Commercial and Marketing Director, added,”We’re grateful to our sponsors, who have been understanding while we worked through our plans and have been willing to stand with us during this very difficult time. We know this will be disappointing for them, but also know that they agree that the health and safety of everyone concerned needs to be our primary consideration and that they view this as a responsible decision. We very much look forward to working with all our sponsors on next year’s event.”

Competitors already entered will be contacted in the next few days and will be invited to roll over their 2020 entry to the 2021 regatta, when Cowes Week will be back as the highlight of the UK sailing season on its traditional dates of July 31 to August 7. 

Meanwhile, the Royal London Yacht Club, organisers of Cowes Classics Week, has taken the decision to reschedule this year’s regatta and plan immediately for 2021. 

The safety of competitors, plus the large volunteer team who help organise the regatta, is paramount and, with social distancing still very much in force, the organisers felt they could not continue with their plans to host the regatta in July. Cowes Classics Week, which attracts in excess of 140 entries, is not just about the racing. The wide range of social events bring together all the crews throughout the week and help make the regatta such a success, but with the current restrictions this would not have been possible so the decision had to be taken to cancel rather than try and run a reduced regatta.

Regatta Chairman, David Gower commented: Whilst we know many competitors will be disappointed, it has become clear that we could not deliver a successful regatta this year and the responsible decision is to cancel. As well as having to ensure the safety of both organisers and competitors, we are also conscious that many Isle of Wight residents are uncomfortable with large numbers of visitors at this time. I wish to thank sincerely our valued volunteers, Royal London Yacht Club staff and our steadfast sponsors who, in some cases, have challenges of their own to deal with. We all look forward to a fantastic regatta in 2021


The team at the Royal London will now focus on planning for the regatta in 2021 which will take place 17 to 23 July with the newly introduced Cowes Classics Day being held on Thursday 22 July 2021. Cowes Classics Day will see a display of over 50 classic cars on The Parade plus classic powerboats berthed on the London Landing and the RYS Yacht Haven. The regatta charity, the Classic Boat Museum, will also have a display of historic classic boats along the seafront.

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