Britain's top yachting awards launched
Search is on to find the YJA Yachtsman of the Year 2017 and YJA Young Sailor of the Year 2017
New Young Bloggers Award


YJA Chairman Barry Pickthall, left and Pete Bradshaw, chief executive of Premier Marinas, launch the awards.
All Photos: Sam Kurtul

Nominations extended until Sunday, October 29

Nominations for the 2017 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Awards have opened to start the selection process of finding Britain's top Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the year.

The new YJA Young Bloggers Competition, intended to give young bloggers, journalists,video and photographers and aspiring radio presenters a chance to get their first break in yachting journalism has also been launched.

Nominations for both awards and the Young Bloggers competition were launched at the Southampton Boat Show, and close on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Nominations may be made online via the YJA website as well as the Boat Show and Premier Marinas websites. Nomination forms were also be available on other exhibition stands, and are available at yacht clubs, and all nine Premier Marinas in the South.

The prestigious yachting awards opened at a reception hosted by Premier Marinas, attended by past award winners and members of the Yachting Journalists' Association.

YJA Chairman Barry Pickthall said: "Our awards represent the pinnacle of sailing achievement and are a measure of the very best skills and prowess among established yachtsmen and women and the stars of the future. The current Yachtsman of the Year also demonstrated extreme bravery."

Nominations for the two prestigious awards may be made by the public and anyone within the yachting community and can include those invoved in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, offshore and ocean racing, short-handed and long distance cruising and from the world of power boating. Entries for the Young Bloggers competition are expected to attract interest from young journalists and photographers anxious to break into yachting journalism.

The awards provide an opportunity for the public to make their yachting heroes or rising stars and celebrate the achievements of up and coming talent.

Barry Pickthall encourages the yachting community  to make their nominations without delay. "Don't rely on someone else to nominate successes achieved by British yachtsmen and women  or the Young Sailor of the Year award which gives enormous inspiration and encuragement to tomorrow's world champions. Nominating couldn't be simpler."

Nominations can be made online at or by posting back one of the nomination cards  distributed throughout the Boat Show to yacht clubs across the country and from any Premier Marinas' site across the south of England.

Nominations for the Yachtsman and Young Sailor awards are welcome until Sunday, October 29, 2017. Entries for the Young Bloggers competition close on November 30. The winners for each award will be announced on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Trinity House, London.

Established in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, Battle of Britain pilot, chirman of Express Newspapers and himself a leading yachtsman in both sail and power, the Yachtsman of the Year is now established as one of the top yachting honours. Previous winners include Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur and four time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Ben Ainslie. The Young Sailor award was first made in 1983.

The current title holders are Gavin Reid, a 28-year-old adventurer who took part in the 2015-2016 Clipper Round the World Race for amateur sailors, for his heroic mid-ocean rescue of a sailor found trapped at the top of the mast on another yacht with the 2016 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award and Elliott Kuzyk, then 15, from Poole, Dorset who won the 2016 Young Sailor award after winning the 2016 Topper World championship.

Current Yachtsman of the
Year, Gavin Reid
Current Young Sailor of the Year, Elliott Kuzyk

NOMINATIONS may be made for the Yachtsman and Young Sailor awards and the new YJA Blogger competition may be made below.


FOR Full details of the new YJA Young Bloggers Competition



CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE FOR THE AWARDS & to Enter the Young Bloggers' Competition.










Monday, October 30
5pm Avon Suite, Holiday Inn Hotel, Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton, SO15 1AG

Your committee has agreed unanimously to call a Special General Meeting on October 30, 2017 to discuss important changes to the Constitution regarding membership status and subscription fees.  This follows an internal audit which shows that almost 50% of members are now of retirement age and the need to bolster membership. It is important to do this now, rather than wait until the AGM in May because the revised fees need to be applied to annual subscriptions sent out to members in November.

Introduction of Student membership

This year, the Committee has launched the YJA Young Bloggers competition to provide budding journalists, photographers and cameramen a first step on the rung to sports coverage with the aim of getting work experience and job opportunities within the yachting media. We want to offer applicants student membership to the YJA and a press card for a nominal charge of £10 per year until the age of 21, when they will be eligible for full membership.

Change of name from ‘Associate’ to ‘Corporate’ membership

Eighteen months ago, we also agreed to broaden our church to include PR and Advertising practicioners in a non-voting category we named ‘Associate’ membership. This name we have found has second class connotations which the Committee wish to amend by rename this category as ‘Corporate’ membership.  No other elements of this category will change.

Subscription increase

It is more than 15 years since membership subscriptions were last addressed. With almost half of our membership now at retirement age, and so many eligible for a reduced subscription level, our annual income from membership fees no longer cover administration costs. With this in mind, your committee has recommended a small increase in the Subscription rates of £10 to each sector as follows:-

  • FULL MEMBER — now £40pa, proposed £50pa;
  • Full Members paying by Standing order — now £35pa, proposed £45pa;
  • Full Members entitled to a discount due to the existing formula (if years of membership + age are over 80) — now £20pa, proposed £30pa;
  • CORPORATE MEMBERS now £40pa, proposed £50pa;
  • STUDENT MEMBERS under 21 — £10pa.

So that all these changes can take place at the next renewal date later this year, it has been agreed that we will call a “Special General Meeting” on Monday, October 30 at the Holiday inn, Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton at 5.00pm, immediately prior to the YOTY and YSOTY shortlisting meeting that same evening. The Agenda items  relate solely to the above changes to the membership rates and the necessary amendments to the Constitution that they entail.

If you are unable to attend the SGM you CAN still vote by simply sending me your vote in advance by email (, letter (45 The Ridgway, Brighton BN2 6PD) or text (07711 717470) no less than 48 hours prior to the meeting or by voting online (CLICK HERE)


Motion 1 – To increase the YJA Subscription rates as detailed in para 3 of the letter above.

Motion 2 – To amend the constitution as required to accommodate  changes necessary to permit the implementation of the above.



          CLICK HERE