New Work from YJA Member Cathy Shelbourne

Monumental Maritimers

We are always keen to hear about new works produced by our members around the world and promote their efforts, but here is an unusual new one created by YJA member Cathy Shelbourne, of Sea Shell Communications marketing consultancy.

Q. Where is the first column to commemorate Nelson located?
Q. Who was the first woman to circumnavigate the world?
Q. Which fearsome pirate was killed on the deck of his own ship in 1718?

If you’re a regular viewer of the television series Who wants to be a millionaire, you might have responded correctly to the last question. (It was Blackbeard!).

But for the rest of us, all these, and many more fascinating answers, lie in the cards! The cards in question are the Monumental Maritime Heroes pack
In normal times, she travels the world as an enrichment speaker on board cruise ships, giving talks on maritime heroes and brazen buccaneers.

During the coronavirus pandemic, she has put her knowledge, and monumental collection of photos of maritime characters, to good use. Her newly-launched pack of cards is illustrated by major players in the Age of Sail (1400s – mid 1800s), with maritime heroes as hearts, explorers and navigators as clubs, pirates and privateers as spades, and ships as diamonds.

“On board ship, passengers would ask how they could find out more, and where these characters fitted into the greater scheme of things,” says Cathy. “So as well as giving facts and figures and their exploits on each card, I’ve included an information leaflet and time chart in the presentation box.

“During the compilation, I felt like I was on a colossal treasure hunt, tracking down these monuments to past adventurers, still all around us if we just keep our eyes open. They range from statues and columns, to plaques and pub signs, and even weathervanes and village signs.

“And one discovery would lead to another. Visiting Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast to photograph the mosaic of Columbus’ ships on an office building, I noticed a colossal statue of Triton, the son of Neptune, on the promenade. Perfect for the Joker!

“While at Bucklers Hard to look round a modern HMS Pickle, I chatted to a couple in the car park. It turned out her father had made a model of HMS Pickle, which her son had presented to the museum there the day before. Her married name was Trim, the same name as Captain Matthew Flinders’ cat who accompanied him on his voyages charting Australia (and was included by sculptor Mark Richards in his monument to Flinders at Euston station)!”

The packs are now available for sale, but for those who prefer to have all their cards in a row, upon the wall, there’s a limited edition poster too. The presentation box, containing a pack of cards and information leaflet with timeline, is available for £10 plus p+p; the poster is £15 plus p+p; both from

For further information see the video at , or contact

YJA members welcomed to the 60th edition of the Genoa Boat Show – 1st to 6th October 2020

From 1st to 6th October The Genoa International Boat Show Will Welcome Boating Professionals and Enthusiasts for its 60th Anniversary Edition

The 60th Genoa International Boat Show will welcome industry professionals and boating enthusiasts alike, from 1st to 6th October, to experience the very best the industry has to offer.

The organizers are working to bring an event that will combine the highest standards of health and safety with an effective approach worthy of the Made in Italy brand and a world-class showcase. Requests for display space have been greater than expected, a sign that the event remains an essential tool for companies worldwide who recognize the value in taking part.

Exhibitors this year will see the return of the major yards in Italy and worldwide who were present last year, in addition to a number of new brands. As of today, these include a selection of industry-leading names: for motorboats Amer Yachts, Arcadia, Azimut-Benetti, Ferretti Group through FSD – Ferretti Security Division, Fipa Group, Pardo, Princess, Sanlorenzo, Sunseeker, VanDutch; for sailing boats, Beneteau, Dufour, Hanse, Jeanneau, Nautor’s Swan, Mylius Yachts, Solaris and Vismara. This year a brand new area will be dedicated exclusively to Superboats. A full roster for outboards as well, along with an already substantial number of equipment and services-related companies.

The 2020 edition will see the implementation of a key plan of action aimed at creating a flexible layout that can adapt to a variety of scenarios. Supporting the organisers in this endeavour will be a Task Force made up of experts in engineering and legal practice. Plans are already in place to ensure the best organizational conditions, in line with the parameters defined by the World Health Organisation. This is only possible due to key innovations in relation to logistics, remote management and controlled access, all within an entirely new vision based on the large open-air spaces available.

The online ticketing is playing a central role, allowing visitors to purchase their tickets via the event’s official website The online platform is the only channel for purchasing tickets, which will quickly be assigned to specific visiting days to allow for an effective level of crowd management and to prevent over-selling. Access to the Show area will be strictly monitored and automated.

Press may register at the press area via this link. Advise you are a member of the YJA (they will check our website to verify this so make sure your profile is up to date)

Lara Paoletti is the Press Officer & Communications specialist

YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ announced

For immediate release – 2nd September, 2020

YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ announced!

Who wins is anyone’s guess at this point! Round the Island Race 2019/Mark Jardine

After the huge disappointment of having to cancel the YJA MS Amlin Awards Gala Dinner in September, in addition to taking the decision not to award the ‘Yachtsman of the Year’, ‘Young Sailor of the Year’ or ‘Young Blogger of the Year’ in 2020, both the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) and MS Amlin Boat Insurance are delighted to announce a brand new award, the YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ award.

The past decade has seen so much action and development on the water. Boat designs that were unthinkable ten years ago are now a regular part of the sailing landscape and the trickle-down effect is seeing all types of benefit from the advances in technology. Alongside this new era, we have seen a cohort of exciting personalities rise on the international stage, with the household names continuing to enjoy sailing and rising to the challenges being thrown down by the younger generation.

The YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ aims to recognise the achievements of the sailors who have had the greatest positive impact on our great sport and pastime.

Yachting Journalists’ Association Chairman, Cliff Webb said, “We are absolutely delighted that MS Amlin’s support of the YJA will continue with the creation of this new award, one that will honour such fabulous achievements from the world of boating. It is an exciting response to this difficult situation with the pandemic, one that has affected water sports globally. Establishing a new award with a new trophy offers YJA members the opportunity to celebrate the greatest participants in our sport over the last decade.”

MS Amlin Boat Insurance Business Development Manager, Paul Knox-Johnston added, “MS Amlin Boat Insurance are delighted to be supporting this new initiative from the YJA.  As the decade draws to a close in a year which has seen little competitive sailing and so much gloom, we have a great opportunity to celebrate all that has gone before and create a prestigious new award for the sailing fraternity to aim for every ten years. There have been so many great sailing achievements since 2010 and I look forward to a long list of entries from around the world for the YJA to deliberate on.”

Nominations for the YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ will be open to all from September 10th until October 23rd 2020 via the YJA website: with the presentation of the award being held during the Yacht Racing Forum on 23rd November.

The awards will be live streamed worldwide via social media and on the major sailing news platforms. The trophy will be unique and striking, details of which will be announced closer to the presentation itself.

2020 is not the year that any of us envisioned, but the past decade of sailing personalities deserves recognition and to be celebrated.

YJA MS Amlin Gala Awards Dinner 2020 Cancelled

PRESS RELEASE 28 August 2020

YJA MS Amlin Gala Awards Dinner 2020 Cancelled

With regret, the YJA MS Amlin Gala Awards dinner 2020 has been cancelled alongside a difficult decision taken not to present the Yachting Journalists’ Association’s Yachtsman of the Year, Young Sailor of the Year or Young Blogger of the Year Awards in September.

With consideration to the fact that Coronavirus is still spreading around communities, as well as the current social distancing guidelines in force, the committee have decided that hosting a dinner with several hundred prominent figures from the leisure marine industry is not possible.  If an event were to have been held, it would not have been the relaxed, jovial and celebratory event intended.

In what should have been a fantastic year for sailing, with the inclusion of the Tokyo Olympics, Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation.  The postponement and cancellation of so many sailing events has made the 2020 YJA MS Amlin Awards unfeasible.  2021 looks set to be an action packed year with many events already in the calendar and even more rescheduled from 2020 so the competition for the 2021 Awards will be more intense than ever.

Paul Knox-Johnston, Business Development Manager – MS Amlin Boat Insurance said, “It is disappointing that the awards have had to be cancelled in 2020, but the safety of the YJA members and guests has to come first.  Looking at the positives however, despite the curtailment of international sailing events, it has been great to see a resurgence of grass roots sailing and increased participation in wider water sports with the easing of lock down and a population keen to get out of the house to breathe fresh air and get fit.  Hopefully positives can come from this challenging year and we will see future Yachtsmen and women of the Year awarded who took up sailing in this post lock down period.”

Cliff Webb, Chairman of the YJA said, “After the fabulous success of the YJA MS Amlin Gala Dinner last year, it is of course a huge disappointment not to be able to proceed this year, as we expected to build on this further, using the lessons learnt from this ‘new edition’ of these famous awards. Bringing together the ‘great and the good’ of the industry and the top stars from around the world of boating, was without any doubt, a glittering night enjoyed by all, and with MS Amlin’s support, we were looking forward to setting a new standard, but that will just have to wait until next year now given the circumstances’.”

2020 has been a difficult year for so many around the world and our thoughts are with all of those who have suffered due to Coronavirus.  Both the MS Amlin Boat Insurance team and the YJA committee would like to thank everyone working tirelessly to care and protect those who are vulnerable and also those working on cures and vaccines for Coronavirus.  We look forward to the YJA MS Amlin Awards returning in 2021, but stay tuned for a major announcement later this week about a new and exciting initiative from MS Amlin Boat Insurance and the YJA.


About MS Amlin Boat Insurance

MS Amlin Boat Insurance has grown to become one of the UK’s leading boat insurance providers. MS Amlin covers the full spectrum of marine craft from a much loved family dinghy or dayboat, racing yacht, RIB, as well as all types of cruising and motor boats to brand new £multi-million superyachts in the UK, Mediterranean and further afield. With the backing of one of the world’s largest insurance groups, MS Amlin delivers service based on years of experience on the water to be able to genuinely understand our clients’ needs.

About MS Amlin

MS Amlin is a leading global (re)insurer, part of the global top-10 insurance group MS&AD, with operations in the Lloyd’s, UK, Continental European, US, Asia and Bermudian markets. With a 300-year record and c.1,800 people in more than 15 locations worldwide, we deliver a quality service for businesses facing the most complex and demanding risks. Our role places us at the forefront of the Specialty, Domestic and Reinsurance markets.

We are experts in underwriting, with both technical capability and deep knowledge of the areas we insure. Our claims service aims to set the industry reference point for quality, with efficient, fair and timely claims management.

For further information please contact:

Chris English (YJA) – – 07711 717470

Eight Bells – Mike Ford

It is with great regret that we have to announce the passing of Mike Ford, a consummate professional Journalist & Photographer who has been working away in the background to keep the good ship YJA afloat for seemingly more years than any of us can recall. Among the many YJA roles that Mike didn’t just take on, but truly embraced with his every sinew, were at various times, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster & Membership Secretary & as a result his knowledge of all things YJA was truly amazing.

In addition to his various roles with the YJA, Mike was also a Member of the Guild of Motoring Writers & a long time Member, Supporter & Editor of the Royal Southampton Yacht Club’s Yachter Magazine. However first & foremost Mike was a family man & on behalf of the hundreds of present & past members of the YJA & the staff of Press Offices around the world, we extend our sincerest condolences to Mike’s Wife Jill & Daughter Michelle. RIP”

Chris English, Secretary

Mike has helped the YJA for many, many years, and supported a long list of Chairmen. His knowledge and experience of all aspects of the YJA was truly impressive, from constitutional matters to membership, and clearly losing such a ‘font of knowledge’ will inevitably have an impact in ways we cannot imagine as yet. It is always sad to hear of members passing, but Mike has been closely involved with the Committee ever since I have been a member, and I have had countless dealings with him since taking over as Chairman. He was as delighted as anyone when MS Amlin stepped up as sponsors last year for our annual awards, and reveled in being able to join the celebrations in Southampton as the YJA began a ‘new’ chapter in it’s evolution.

A lovely man who will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Cliff Webb, Chairman