The Royal Southern Yacht Club celebrates an outstanding year

Report: Peta Stuart-Hunt
All photos: Chris Gillingham
Hamble, Hampshire, UK 
Plaudits & a stunning array of trophies were awarded – including the ‘Champion of Champions’ prize – at the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s annual Prizegiving held on Saturday 14th November.
The Royal Southern Yacht Club and its membership have enjoyed a truly outstanding year of success both in UK waters and on the world’s sailing stage. The Club’s packed on-water programme has combined top quality racing and superb cruising for sailing and motor boating members, with some terrific results being gained across the board.
Added to this intoxicating mix was the commissioning of the Prince Philip Yacht Haven by its Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in June, providing a first-class facility and lasting legacy for members, visiting yachtsmen and the Hamble community.
Following a sumptuous three course dinner provided courtesy of the Club and enjoyed by 145 guests, the annual Prizegiving commenced under the stewardship of the Rear Commodore Sailing Graham Nixon, accompanied by the evening’s special guest, Libby Greenhalgh, the navigator on Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race, handing out the prizes.
There are over 100 trophies and awards and in a fitting opener to the presentations, it was Cadet, Youth and Academy members being recognised first. Trophies went to Ben Childerley, Charles Handley, Finlay Craigen and Chris James.
Finlay Craigen

Finlay Craigen with Libby Greenhalgh.

The Junior Cadet and Optimist sailor Isabelle Waha was the recipient of the inaugural Richard Cann Trophy, presented by Richard’s parents in his memory. Richard was a member of the Club from the age of 12, but very sadly passed away last year.
Kate & Chris Cann with Chris James

Kate & Chris Cann with Chris James collecting the Trophy on behalf of Isabelle Waha.

British Sailing Team member Hannah Diamond was awarded the Morning Flight Trophy for an outstanding performance in double-handed racing in the Nacra 17. Hannah is currently in Rio preparing for December’s Copa do Brasil, the last regatta in the Olympic venue before the games next year.
Special prizes also went to Annabel Vose and Nikki Curwen.  Annabel’s in recognition of her outstanding performance this year, winning the Women’s World Youth Match Racing championship, the Student Yachting Worlds; she was a semi-finalist at the Eurosaf & ISAF Youth Worlds, as well as being a member of the first all-female crew in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, sailing Concise 2 in the Fast 40 class.  Nikki qualified for this year’s Mini Transat and is currently mid-Atlantic, en-route to Guadeloupe in her Classe Mini 6.5m. Both are products of the Royal Southern’s youth development and Academy programmes.
Hotly contested ‘Champion of Champions’
The Royal Southern’s Summer Series Regattas are perhaps the most hotly contested of all the Club events and the prestigious ‘Champion of Champions’ title was once again up for grabs this year. The ‘Champion of Champions’ award honours performance and consistency across all the classes of yacht that compete in the Royal Southern Yacht Club Summer Series.
The wonderful prize, donated by Barbados Tourism Marketing, comprises flights and hotel accommodation in Barbados for two people for one week in January giving them the opportunity to take part in Barbados Week, enjoy all the legendary Bajan hospitality that surrounds race week on the Island, including the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.
Annie Kelly & Andy Howe, with David Mead

Annie Kelly & Andy Howe, with David Mead

In presenting the Award to an ecstatic Annie Kelly and Andy Howe with Black Jack II, winner of the hotly contested IRC 3 fleet, former Past Commodore David Mead stood in for Cheryl Carter, the UK Director of Barbados Tourism Marketing, who was regrettably unable to attend owing to ill health.
David Mead said: “A huge vote of thanks must go to Barbados Tourism Marketing for once again donating such a superb prize to the best performing sailors in our Summer Series regattas.”

Annie and Andy’s win was greeted with cheers and applause as the couple were clearly completely taken by surprise as they became engaged only three weeks ago and are planning to get married next September.

Annie said: “We have entered the Royal Southern Summer Series for ten years and had mixed results. This year we had a wonderful crew on board Black Jack II and it was truly a corinthian team.”
Andy agreed, commenting: “Every year we’ve improved on the water but we didn’t compromise in the off-water activities either with an emphasis on mixing great fun with great competition. It’s all about creating and maintaining a strong team spirit.”
A large team of volunteers and their boats help make these high profile events run smoothly and awards were presented in recognition of that commitment. As Graham Nixon pointed out:
Committee Boats and RIBs don’t grow on trees, but arrive in a timely manner at the appointed place and time in the Solent and elsewhere because their owners are prepared to help. This year we have recognised the contribution of individual members and their yachts and RIBs that have fulfilled these roles.”
The full list of Awards and their highly deserving winners will be published alongside a gallery of images on the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s website:
Notes to Editors:
  • The Club celebrated its 175th Anniversary in 2012. The Royal Southern, whose Patron is HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh K.G. K.T., is one of Europe’s premier yacht racing organisers, excelling at all levels of competition and enjoying the practical experience of internationally qualified race officers amongst its members.  Many of the Club’s sailing members have achieved notable successes on the international stage, from world champions in dinghies and keelboats to the twice winner of the classic Rolex Fastnet Race.
  • Quadruple Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist, & America’s Cup winning sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, and single-handed circumnavigators, Samantha Davies, Sir Chay Blyth and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston are all Honorary Members as is disabled yachtsman and disability sports ambassador Geoff Holt and Paralympic medallist Helena Lucas. The latest name to be added to this distinguished Honorary Membership list is that of Ian Williams, 5 x World Match Racing Champion.
  • The Prince Philip Yacht Haven was commissioned by the Club’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, on 4th June 2015.  This was the culmination of a project that started 14 years ago.
  • The Club has a proud and illustrious history in the sport and an active membership in excess of 1700 adults and 140 Academy members.

It was 22 years ago today…

Twenty-two years ago today I launched PR Works. I’m feeling very proud to still be in business having worked away, on my own, all these years happily achieving a very eventful but pretty good work/life balance!

Thank you to all the lovely people, friends, industry colleagues, media and clients who have supported me along the way.

I looked at my profile on Linkedin the other day and it really hit home that I have been extremely fortunate to work with some of the best names in the business and count many of them amongst my friends.

Onwards & upwards.

Love Peta x

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Right: A page from my original website!


Peta Stuart-Hunt chats with the 25 year-old British solo sailor Lizzy Foreman before she sets sail on the final 2,770nm leg of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe to Guadeloupe on 31st October in ‘Hudson Wight’, Hull 633, a 10-year old Series Mini 6.50m. 
Lizzy is expecting to take around 20 days to reach Guadeloupe. The date by which all the competitors need to finish, in order to qualify for a place, is November 28th.

Her flight to Paris is booked for 29th November, so she’s feeling reasonably confident!
Her beaming smile lit up the darkness as Lizzy completed Leg 1 into Lanzarote.

Her beaming smile lit up the darkness as Lizzy completed Leg 1 into Lanzarote.

PSH: Lizzy, you have already endured some very long days alone at sea during your first leg experience and now you will have been in Lanzarote for a month before setting of again on Saturday on Leg 2, a 20-day voyage of 2,770nm. How are you feeling?
LF: The stopover has been long for sure and when I leave Lanzarote my priority is to crack the hardest tactical point of the race, getting into the trade winds – much of the overall result of this race is going to be about getting in to these winds ASAP.  The fleet will have to decide the best route to take leaving the Canary Islands (considering wind acceleration affects and the position of any low pressures), and then pick the best route around any low pressures we experience along the way.
PSH: Did you learn anything especially useful about your boat and/or yourself during Leg 1?
LF:  I learned a lot. I could definitely have pushed the boat harder through better sleep and nutrition management, and I need to helm more, which can a bit boring sometimes when there is nothing on the horizon!  I have learned to judge the limit of the boat better; it gets very reactive and it is knowing you have the confidence and ability to cope which allows you to hold a bigger sail for longer!
The good bits were really great. Although the boat isn’t comfortable the addition of a padded seat on the rail made a huge difference and prevented any backaches. I love small, cosy places. There isn’t much space to sleep and I was often wedged in with my bags of food. My MP3 player broke and so did the boat’s speaker, so luckily Mum has bought me a new player and I’ll just listen to music on my headphones. This time I’m taking a book too.
The boat & the skipper. They are as one. Photo: LPB Aerial Imagery

The boat & the skipper. They are as one. Photo: LPB Aerial Imagery

PSH:  What’s your biggest worry setting off on Saturday?

LF:  To be honest my worst nightmare is breaking something major like the mast or keel; but I’m most nervous about making a silly strategic error and finishing later than everybody else. The only upside being a good welcome on the pontoon!
I’m really looking forward to getting going again. We’ve been here for a month and eventually you start to feel nervous and stressed about what’s going to happen next. I need to get into those trade winds and let everything settle.
Follow Lizzy’s progress:
Via the tracker on
Twitter: @lizzyracing
Facebook: Lizzy Offshore Racing
From Lanzarote the competitors will pick up the trade winds, with the opportunity for a high speed sleigh ride across the Atlantic to show off the exceptional planing qualities of their designs, before the fleet arrives, all colours blazing, at the finish line in Pointe à Pitre, the capital of Guadeloupe.
The dates of the Mini Transat Îles de Guadeloupe 2015
1200 (BST) Saturday, October 31st, 2015: Start of the 2nd Leg from La Marina Lanzarote
Saturday, November 14th, 2015: Expected arrival of the 1st Mini in Guadeloupe
Thursday , November 26th,  2015: Prize giving of the second Leg
Saturday, November 28th – the finish line closes.
Saturday, December 5th, 2015: Prize giving of the MINI TRANSAT ÎLES GUADELOUPE 2015 at Nautic de Paris (16:00 CET)
Media Enquiries/Interview requests:
Peta Stuart-Hunt | Lizzy Racing Media| +44 (0) 7711 477707 |

Coverage in the October 2015 issue of Boating Business

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Arundells/Morning Cloud talks with Jamie Matheson, Chris Mansfield and Giles Chichester.



RSrnYC Academy talent gears up for 35th Student Yachting World Cup 2015  

Hamble, Hampshire, UK 
The 2015 Student Yachting World Cup (SYWoC), an ISAF-recognised event hosted and run by students for students, is being held in France between 13-20 October and this year will host around 150 competitors from 15 countries. Four UK University teams are entered and every one is either skippered or crewed by a Royal Southern Academy member.
The Oxford University team is skippered by 19 year-old Lulu Wallis; Cambridge is sailed by Damien Arnol (25), and 21 year-old Annabel Vose is heading up the Southampton University team. Annabel is a 420 World and European Champion and successfully skippered a women’s match racing team to win the University World Championship last summer. She is joined by Academy members Jamie Diamond & Tom Harrison. The University of Strathclyde’s team captain is 22 year-old Peter Cameron.


Lulu Wallis, photographed here by Warwick Bookman, during the Royal Southern YC Ladies Race.
Competitors will race a minimum two races per day in J/80s, enabling each team to showcase their talents with the aim of being crowned University World Cup Champion.
Royal Southern Yacht Club AVEVA September Regatta Sunday 20 September 2015 J80 fleet

Royal Southern Yacht Club AVEVA September Regatta Sunday 20 September 2015
J80 fleet

All teams have been training hard at the Hamble-based Club using their fleet of J/80s. Photo shows some mark action during the J/80 National Championships/AVEVA September Regatta. 
Credit: Rick Tomlinson

The Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Sailing Manager, Tim Thubron, says that everyone at the Club is extremely proud to see a world-class turnout emanating from the Academy and taking to the on-water stage for the 35th Student Yachting World Cup. “We’re hopeful that we’ll see some Academy members on the prizegiving podium at the end of this major event,” commented Thubron.

Didn’t they do well!
Over the course of the Summer there have been some newsworthy results posted by current and former Royal Southern Academy sailing talent, notably Will Goldsmith and Alan Roberts.
Will, sailing with Anna Carpenter, were runners up in the J/70 National Championships (plus first Under 25 Team) and Will was also overall winner of the Melges 24 National Championships as well as the Melges 24 Dutch Open Championships.
Back in June, Alan Roberts (24) became the top British Solitaire du Figaro sailor in 40 years, coming in 9th overall in this four stage solo! Alan had previously been awarded the Royal Southern’s 2014 Frank Heenan Award, presented annually to a Club member who has excelled at singlehanded sailing, be it racing or cruising.
Alan said: “Having been a member of the Royal Southern for most my life, sailing Toppers and 29ers from the club and taking part in, and having a lot of fun in the Youth Splash weeks, it was great to receive this Award as my journey is just beginning into the vast world of offshore yacht racing. The Royal Southern has over the years supported me in various different ways and in a range of classes and types of sailing.
Solo offshore sailor Nikki Curwen was the first British competitor to arrive in Lanzarote at the end of the first leg of the Mini Transat Iles de Guadeloupe and past Academy member Ben Saxton sailing with Nicola Groves, has just won the Nacra 17 Europeans in Barcelona.
Following all these successes and with the new University term having now started, the Royal Southern is reporting lots of interest from new students wanting to join their Academy to sail the four J/80s and take part in the team and match racing programme.
The Academy is for 18 – 25 year olds and enables them to be members of this prestigious Yacht Club for a very affordable subscription, a membership rate that remains the same up until the end of the member’s 25th birthday year.
Further details about the Academy are available from the Royal Southern Yacht Club: 
Sailing Office: Tel: 023 8045 0302 or on the Club’s website

Royal Southern YC appointment broadens Peta’s role

Peta Stuart-Hunt has been re-appointed by the prestigious Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) as its Marketing & Media Consultant covering most aspects of the Hamble-based Club’s requirements. The Club has extended Peta’s remit to include marketing strategy as it moves into an exciting new phase in tandem with the recently commissioned 66-berth Prince Philip Yacht Haven and expands both its on-water and shoreside capabilities and events.
_I6Q3058 Photo: Patrick Eden
For Peta, 2015 marks 30 years of working in the marine leisure market
Peta has worked with the RSrnYC for the past five years. She was
initially brought on board in 2010 to help steer the Club through the 175th Anniversary celebrations in 2012 and she now serves on the Club’s Marketing Committee, continuing to help advise, drive and deliver the Club’s marketing & sponsorship initiatives.
The Royal Southern has recently been awarded the inaugural ‘Yacht Club of the Year’ Award by Sailing Today at the Southampton Boat Show and was also the recipient of the Yachts and Yachting ‘Club of the Year’ Award back in 2012.
In addition to her consultancy role with the RSrnYC, Peta is also year-round Press Officer for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, handles Marketing & PR for Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear, represents solo sailor Lizzy Foreman/Lizzy Racing, who is currently undertaking her first Mini Transat, and is PR consultant to the RORC Rating Office, amongst others.