YJA Chairman’s Update 2019

By | April 15, 2019

The Yachting Journalists’ Association has enjoyed a busy first quarter of the year and made some fabulous progress with plans. They have a title sponsor for this year’s awards, a new venue and a new date.


MS Amlin Yacht, the boat insurance specialists, has agreed to become the title sponsor of the YJA Yachtsman of the Year, Young Sailor of the Year and Young Blogger of the Year awards 2019.

In a change to previous years, the 2019 Awards will be presented at a glamorous black-tie gala dinner on September 13, Press Day at the Southampton Boat Show, where members of the Yachting Journalists’ Association will meet with a vast array of sailing talent and key figures from the marine industry to reward the most outstanding accomplishments during 2019.

This is shaping up to be THE social event of the year, and more information will follow shortly as to how tickets will be available, but it will be on a ‘first-reserved’ basis as there is limited space available. The venue is the Grand Café in Southampton, and there will be a fabulous drinks reception to begin the evening, followed by a three-course dinner, which will include the presentation of our awards for the 2019 MS Amlin YJA Yachtsman of the Year, Young Sailor of the Year and Young Blogger of the Year. Should you be inclined, free entry to the nightclub at the Grand Café will be included after dinner.

Paul Knox-Johnston of MS Amlin Yacht says: “The main attraction for us was getting people into boating through inspiration. That is what the award ‘says’ to us — it is inspiring the next generation. You go back to when Sir Robin sailed around the world 50 years ago; he inspired a generation to not only get involved in sailing as a sport, but to get involved in the marine industry itself. Therefore, it self-generates people coming into the industry.”

MS Amlin insure all types of craft enabling everyone who loves being out on the water to have peace of mind and enjoy their boating lifestyle, and we are delighted to have them on board and supporting the YJA. https://www.msamlin.com/en/insurance/marine-and-aviation/yacht.html


YOTY Awards

To this end, MS Amlin kindly agreed to stage the 2018 YJA awards at their London headquarters, where they were hosting a breakfast reception celebrating Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s 80th birthday, himself a four-time winner of the YJA Yachtsman of The Year award.

All-female winners took the honours. The YJA Young Sailor of the Year trophy went to 15-year-old Emily Mueller collecting the award for winning the Volvo Gill Optimist British National Championship — only the third ever girl to win the national title.

In over 60 years of the YJA Awards, it was an unprecedented result with a tie for the 2018 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award, so this was presented to joint winners, Tracy Edwards and Nikki Henderson.

Nikki made history when at 24 she was the youngest ever skipper to compete in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. By finishing in second place to Australian Wendy Tuck, she secured an all-female one-two.

Tracy Edwards, who inspired a generation of women as the skipper of the first all-female crew to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1988/89, has now extensively restored the yacht Maiden to play the central role in the Maiden Factor campaign to raise awareness of the education of girls worldwide. A new generation of highly talented all-female crew members, including Nikki Henderson, are sailing Maiden on a world tour with over 23 destinations in 13 countries, flying the flag for girls’ education, working with local charities and supporting community-led educational projects.

Sir Robin comments: “The YJA Yachtsman of the Year has always been the top of the tree. It is the one that everyone strives for, that everyone would like to win and have their name on. It is a historic trophy. If anyone says, ‘what have you won?’ the YJA Yachtsman of the Year trophy is the one that matters.”


Musto YJA Young Blogger Winner

In case you missed this, a separate award was staged at the RYA Dinghy Show.

Nineteen-year-old James Tomlinson, son of noted marine photographer Rick Tomlinson, scooped the award. He’s a first-year student at Solent University, Southampton, where he’s studying Yacht Design and Production, and edited drone shots to music from three of his projects, including a blast on a racing maxi and a holiday in the fjords.

This is the second year of the YJA’s Young Blogger award, and Digby Fox, Vice-Chairman of the YJA, says: “We really liked James’s use of DJI drones. He’s on the money because drones are making such a difference to the coverage of sailing. That three-quarter angle down is made for our sport.”

YJA Committee member Mark Jardine of https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/ was on hand to manage the awards.

Nick Houchin, Musto’s Head of Sailing Marketing, presented James with a voucher for £100 plus a pick of Musto’s classy British Sailing Team merchandise collection – check it out here.

“The excellent sailing coverage we see in the media is important to us,” says Nick, “so we’re happy to encourage young people to get involved and create a fresh take on things.”


Former Chairman Funeral

Former YJA Chairman, Paul Gelder, recently died. He was the retired editor of Yachting Monthly and was 71. He was YJA Chairman as recently as 2015 -16, and for ten years was the editor of the magazine. Members of the YJA attended his funeral and the Committee was represented by their Treasurer and long-time friend of Paul, Mike Ford. The YJA made a donation on members’ behalf to the designated charity.


Don’t forget, YJA welcomes you posting to their news page on the website which will help promote your skills and showcase your work, be it written posts, photos or videos. They are keen to have daily updates from events too – visit here: http://yja.world/news-and-video-links/

You can also post on their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

As a reminder, the aim of the Yachting Journalists’ Association is to promote greater awareness of all aspects of leisure boating through the professional services offered by its members. These include all media in its wide-ranging areas, PR professionals and students, so please invite eligible friends and colleagues to visit our website and sign up. www.yja.world

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *