Victory for Giles Scott at Ronstan Australian Finn Championship

By Robert Deaves

Giles Scott wrapped up a great week’s sailing with two more race wins to take the overall victory at the Ronstan Australian Finn Championship in some spectacular Black Rock conditions. Nicholas Heiner secured second place, while Jake Lilley took one point off Ed Wright to move up to third, and also successful defended his Australian National title.

It had been a tough week in Black Rock with solid sea breezes for most of the races challenging the physical preparation of the 40 sailors who took part. Many sailors were visibly tired, with sore legs, heading out for the final day, which looked like being the toughest of the week.

It was a great demonstration from Olympic champion Scott as he revelled in the fantastic wind and waves on Port Phillip for two clear wins to make it six bullets this week, which is impressive considering the high quality of the fleet. Heiner knew it would be tough to topple Scott, so focussed on securing the silver. Meanwhile Wright and Lilley went into the day tied on points. Everything was set for a final day of tough and absorbing racing.

The final two races were scheduled to start at the earlier time of 12.00 and on the water, the southerly change had blown through in the early morning to bring in a solid 15 knot breeze and a 5 minute sail to the start line. The forecast predicted a 15 to 20 knot southerly with a sea breeze coming over the top and building later in the day.

Race 9 of the series got away on time under ‘U’ flag with two boats UFD, Rockal Evans, from Bermuda and Phil Chadwick, from Australia, who was leading the Grand Masters. The first mark was a British procession and by the bottom first time round it was Scott with a clear lead, clearly enjoying the fabulous conditions. The breeze filled in further on the second lap to a solid 20 knots by the finish. Scott took the win from Pieter-Jan Postma, from The Netherlands, and Lilley. Wright was back in seventh after breaking his vang lever and sailed in for a boom change for the second race. It was all down to the final race for silver and bronze.

The final race was held in the same solid breeze from the south, with a high degree of attrition through the fleet. In the end only 25 boats finished. At the top of the second run, Scott and Wright had a big lead on the fleet with Henry Wetherell clearly in third, to finish in that order for a British one, two, three. Postma capsized at the end of the first run, while Chadwick picked up another UFD. Alex Kokumai from Japan, suffered another broken vang and was towed in.

The spoils were shared between the Australian and British sailors. While Lilley won the Australian title from Oliver Tweddell, Wetherell took the U23 prize and Wright was first Master. After an over-enthusiastic double UFD from Chadwick today, John Condie won the Grand Masters by a single point, while Peter Wallace was first Grand Grand Master. For the Legends, Dirk Seret covered Neville Wild to stay in front, with last years winner Bob Buchanan, third.

“It was a great week of sailing at Black Rock, classic Finn conditions and a very physical week. Sore legs for all concerned.”

“Very happy to finish off in third and another national title but incredibly grateful to all the other countries for coming out and sharing our country and some fantastic racing.”

Heiner was pleased with his period of training in Australia.

“A great week’s sailing in Black Rock. Amazing conditions. You can’t ask for much better sailing. I think especially with all the internationals here there was great depth in the fleet, especially when the Kiwis were still here.”

On his own performance, “Every day I was pretty equal to Giles. We had some great battles and unfortunately I made a bit of an error yesterday with a UFD, so going into today I knew it was going to be quite tricky to gain those seven points on him, especially in the conditions we had today. I was just making sure I didn’t do anything crazy and secured the second place, but it got pretty hard once PJ started match racing me, which made trying to win the regatta quite hard.”

“In the end I am happy as one of the smaller and lighter guys in the fleet to come away with a silver medal, and quite solid as well, in a breezy week shows that we are on the right track. We are doing our homework and getting better and better, and it gives a lot of confidence.”

“It shows we can win races and be up on the podium in the big breeze regattas, so enough to work on but pretty happy with my Australian trip.”

Black Rock Yacht Club Commodore, Gary Lokum, commented, “It has been a fabulous two weeks of racing at Black Rock, with first the OK Dinghy nationals and then the Finn nationals. We have been blessed with fantastic conditions and have run all the racing to schedule, which is amazing. It really is ‘normally like this here’ and we hope all the competitors, especially the international sailors, enjoyed our club and our special waters.”

“I would finally like to thank our sponsors over these events – especially Ronstan, Rooster, Blue Peter and the Victorian Government – for their support in enabling us to host these events.”

Final results(10 races)
1 GBR41 Giles Scott 14
2 NED89 Nicholas Heiner 28
3 AUS1 Jakos Lilley 42
4 GBR11 Ed Wright 43
5 GBR71 Henry Wetherell 49
6 NED842 PieterJan Postma 52
7 AUS261 Oliver Twedell 52
8 CHN1 He Chen 89
9 AUS32 Jock Calvert 93
10 AUS41 Lewis Brake 94


YJA Membership Card to be accepted at Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show

50th anniversary of world’s biggest boat and water sports fair

We are pleased to advise that the Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show has agreed to recognise the YJA International press card as a qualification for entry in 2019.  Please provide your YJA press card on arrival.

boot Düsseldorf is the biggest boat and water sports trade fair in the world and is the place where all of the industry meets in January every year. Nearly 2,000 exhibitors, over 50 per cent not from Germany, from nearly 70 different countries will be presenting their interesting innovations, attractive developments and maritime equipment at the 50th anniversary show from January 19 to 27, 2019. This means that the whole of the global market will be heading to Düsseldorf, to provide an exciting insight into the entire water sports world for the nine-day exhibition in 16 different halls on 220,000 square meters. Every water sport is present on boot with its categories boats and yachts, engines, shipping and yachting equipment and Accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, rowing, rafting, water-skiing, wakeboarding, wakeskate, skimboarding, jetskiing, diving, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas and water sport facilities as well as beach resorts and charter.Above

“boot Düsseldorf is the only trade fair in the world that truly represents the diversity of the industry and scene. With manufacturers from over 70 countries throughout the world expected to attend, we are unique in exhibiting such a wide range of product diversity. 1,500 sailing and motor boats have found their trade fair home at boot”, explains boot Director Petros Michelidakis.

The visitors of the biggest watersports trade fair in the world are equally diverse: they will follow the trade fair’s call to attend from over 102 different countries. Michelidakis: “This means that boot is not simply a show for regional visitors, rather, it is a recognized international industry event, characterized by its B2B platform. This is how decision makers from large charter companies, for example, use the trade fair: to gain a comprehensive overview of the market, to make direct contact with manufacturers and to make comparisons.” This is on the rise as charters are becoming more and more popular among boot visitors and exhibitors and are a real trend in the industry.

Above photo: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

Follow this link to the press services including pre-registration:

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