Management Committee

The Management Committee are the Directors of Phoenix Yacht Club Ltd and are elected at the annual general meeting. They consist of the Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodores Sailing and Admin, the Treasurer and up to two members without portfolio. The Management Committee appoint the Company Secretary.

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Ted Sankey

I am pleased to stand for re-election as Commodore of the Phoenix Yacht Club.

It has been a very active year for the Club. As Commodore I’ve been the chairman of the Management Committee which has been very busy, and I know it has been the same on the Sailing Committee, chaired by Richard Ash. Many thanks are due to all who have given time to the Club, on the Committees and off, and kept the Club in good shape.

The Club has given me sailing opportunities I could not have had otherwise, including access to good yachts and a community of yachtsmen. It would be a pleasure in 2020 again to give something back, since I was Treasurer of the BP Yacht Club, which became PYC!

I’ve cruised and skippered with Phoenix as far afield as the Rias in Spain, the Danish archipelago, the Western Med, Brittany and around our shores. I’ve skippered our boats in Solent races for a number of years, and in a RORC race to St Malo and return. As crew I’ve twice entered the Fastnet and a number of RORC races. As skipper or crew, I’ve done over 10,000 nm. I am an offshore skipper in the Club.

In my sailing last year, I included the Summer Cruise, a RORC race, and taking a crew of new members out. It is great to be part of a sailing club that offers such variety of sailing experience!

As will be reported in the AGM, in the last year the Management Committee undertook initiatives, for example, to improve how the Club manages some key activities, to improve the systematic management of the club’s risks, and make clearer the expectations members can have of being in the society of the Club.

I contributed a Commodore’s Piece to the Club Newsletter in almost every edition. I hope they have been enjoyed, and if elected I’ll aim to continue to do something in each Newsletter. Feedback would always be welcome!

It was very happy that we celebrated the Club’s 25th Anniversary in an enjoyable event. Andy Bowerman organised a great social and as a founding member it was very pleasing!

My professional background began at BP in corporate development here and abroad, including at a specialist engineering subsidiary. I then entered consultancy and latterly I’ve led risk management development in banking and insurance, including as Director of Operational Risk at one of the big banks here. I’m a Past Chairman of the Institute of Operational Risk and an Honorary Life Member of the Institute of Risk Management.

The Club is in a sound basic shape as it approaches its next big commitment of buying QT’s replacement, thanks to the work of its officers (with special thanks to Debbie Roberts who as Treasurer has kept on eagle eye on the short and the longer term finances) through and since the big step of buying RelaX. The challenge for 2020 is to maintain and grow the amount of sailing we do, and he Sailing Committee has planned a valuable programme of training and new initiatives in racing. The training we offer, informally to members and as an RYA centre, is a great strategic asset to the Club.

As a Club we need to promote membership and retention, increase sailing activity, and encourage volunteers to join the team to have strength in depth. We should also seek more diversity in the membership and on the committees.

It would be an honour to be Commodore for a further year. I would work hard at fulfilling your expectations.

Vice Commodore

Tom Lynch

Who is Tom Lynch?

My passion for all forms of water sports started as a youth in the Sea Cadets and has continued to this day. Over the years I have windsurfed, water skied, sailed and instructed in dinghies, been a qualified powerboat, water ski boat driver and instructor, a safety boat driver and most recently offshore yacht master.

I have been a member of PYC for 9 years and in the early days I had a share in a yacht so I mainly used the club to progress through my qualifications via the excellent club offerings including the Coastal and Offshore YM courses. However, since selling that yacht, PYC has been my yachting home and in the last 4 years I have spent ~140 days board and covered almost 5000 miles with PYC.   My sailing genes are more cruiser than racer and I have regularly skippered summer cruise weeks and organised many trips outside the Solent to France,  Holland, the West Country, Scotland, the Channel Islands and I also planned and skippered the delivery trip for Relax from the Baltic to Haslar. I enjoy helping members develop their sailing skills during my trips and often provide mentored skippering opportunities for YM Offshore qualifying passages.  I am currently a PYC skipper assessor and I enjoy mentoring aspiring club skippers and provide informal opportunities to develop skills during my trips. Over the years I have also been active in recruiting new members through my personal networks and hosting many introductory sails for potential new members.

Relevant Experience

In terms of my experience relevant to the PYC Management Committee I have an in-depth knowledge of the club and its operations having served on the Sailing Committee for a number of years and also as a very active member who makes extensive use of the club yachts. I also have wide experience of serving with, and leading, committee-based organisations.  I am a past Vice President of the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division and a former Trustee of the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund Charity managing funds in excess of £10million.  I founded, and was Commodore, of the BP Yacht Club Windsurf Section, Treasurer of the BP Yacht Club Dinghy Section and I am a past Rear Commodore of Goring Thames Sailing Club.

 My Views on the Future for PYC

Over the last few years the financial and operational management of PYC has been transformed by a great team of very hard working member volunteers working through the Management and Sailing Committees and the club now has a clear vision supported by robust financial and operational strategies  to deliver the clubs mission  “To provide for our members and their families, a range of affordable, enjoyable and easily available sailing –training, racing & cruising (both near & far) –on high quality, safe boats”

Role and Responsibilities

  • Vice Commodore – deputize for and support the Commodore at MC , AGM and EGM meetings.
  • Provide a long term view for the overall health and sustainability of the club.





Rear Commodore (Sailing)

Richard Ash

Have fun sailing in a club atmosphere where we all contribute and look after each other

This is my 33rd season cruising on sailing yachts and I have cruised many of the coasts of the UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands and the Baltic. I have also enjoyed warmer cruising in the Mediterranean, Canaries, and Caribbean. I am qualified to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore level and have done the theory for Ocean too, and this year made my first Ocean passages from Portugal to the Canary Islands..

Having shared ownership of two yachts before moving to the South coast and joining PYC in 2008, I was quickly identified as a potential bosun, a role I have fulfilled since 2010 on Firebird, then Quartette and Relax. In this role I have also been a member of the sailing committee for ten years under three different chairs. I was one of the team who selected Relax and led the equipment specification and commissioning of her into the club alongside the then RC-S, Trevor Nicholls. I am a PYC Offshore skipper and sailed 31 days on the clubs yachts in 2019.

I have been Rear Commodore Sailing for one year now and am willing to stand for another- unless someone else wants the job.

The club has succeeded, through careful planning and good financial governance, to achieve a model which allows us to have a rolling programme of boat replacement, while maintaining our position of modest daily sailing rates and a low membership fee. Having navigated the difficulties of tightening our rules to avoid being considered a commercial operation, we still have a good number of new members coming through as a result of advertising our compelling offering and making people welcome when they join. I believe that the thrust for the coming few years should be to sustain the model we have built so that we can replace Quartette within a couple of years, maintain the cruising, racing and training programmes that make PYC unique, and above all have fun going sailing. In doing this we must all remember that we are a club and not a business with paid employees. It takes a lot of work to keep PYC going and we would like everyone to think how they can make a contribution beyond paying their fees and turning up to sail.


Role and Responsibilities

Chairman of the Sailing Committee, equivalent to the clubs Managing Director, responsible for achieving SC objectives and managing our sailing programme, our boats and sailing activities.

Rear Commodore (Administration)

Steve Greenham

Keeping the members we have, attracting the members we need...

I have been a member of PYC since 2008 and started sailing a few years before that, initially participating in my work sailing club’s annual regattas which used Sunsail boats. That gave me the sailing bug and I was introduced to PYC by a diving friend who told me “it’s as cheap as chips!”. I have progressed with the club to Yachtmaster Offshore and am a club Coastal Skipper, in the process of upgrading to Offshore Skipper. In 2019 I sailed for 70 days, 60 of them with the club, although work commitments are likely to restrict me to weekends only in 2020.

In my working life I am a consultant specialising in Cybersecurity and Information Risk Management. My background was in the pharmaceutical industry, but I have worked across a number of industry sectors as a senior manager with a Big Four management consultancy and in financial services. I ran my own limited company from 2016 to 2020 but have recently accepted a role with a global IT Services company as a managing consultant in their Internet of Things and Operational Technology CyberSecurity division.

I previously served on the Sailing Committee, as Newsletter Editor, for two years in 2008 and 2009 and on the Management Committee, as an Ordinary Member, for three years 2014-2016, then returned to the Sailing Committee to establish a new role as Marketing and Communications Officer from 2017 to 2020. The role of Marketing and Communications Officer gave me responsibility for maintaining communications with existing members while also reaching out to potential members to bring in the new blood we need to keep the club active and healthy.

As Rear Commodore (Admin) my approach will be to build a team to cover all of the administrative aspects of the club, while retaining accountability to ensure they are done. I have observed that the nature of volunteering has changed since I joined the club and we now struggle to find members willing to take on the traditional Sailing Committee roles. While some members are happy to take on a full Committee role and manage all aspects of it throughout the year, others prefer to take on smaller commitments; possibly helping with just one aspect of a role or participating in a project on an occasional basis.

We need to be respectful of members’ time, skills and motivation and enable all members to support the club on their own terms, rather than imposing a job description upon them. We have already seen this approach work successfully in maintaining the club yachts, with permanent bosuns supported by specialists to look after (e.g.) the boat electronics. Other members volunteer on an occasional basis to participate in working parties and boat deliveries to boat yards. I would hope to extend this approach to the administrative side of the club, giving more members the opportunity and encouragement to use their business skills to support PYC. All members should be able to do something to support the club, and typically the admin tasks can be done from home and whenever convenient. The only way we can keep fees low is if we are all willing to contribute our time and expertise to the club – otherwise we have to pay someone to do the necessary tasks and put up fees to cover the cost.

Role and Responsibilities

Responsible to the Rear Commodore (Sailing) for the efficient administration of the Club’s day-to-day operations.


Debbie Roberts

Role and Responsibilities

  1. Causes such books of account to be kept as are necessary to give a true and accurate view of the state of finances of the Club and in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act.
  2. Administers such insurance policy or policies as may be needed to fully protect the interests of the Club, its assets, Officers and members.
  3. Prepares the annual budget for ratification by the Sailing Committee and Management Committee.
  4. Operates the Club bank accounts.
  5. Monitors the financial progress of the Club throughout the year.
  6. Administers the Subscription Discount Scheme and keeps a register of all subscribers, and those wishing to be repaid.

Ordinary Member

Leon de Beer

I’m pleased to stand as a General Member for the PYC Management Committee at the 2020 AGM. I’m relatively new to both the club (1 year) and have only been sailing since 2016. The sailing bug has definitely bitten me, and my ultimate aim is to slowly work towards becoming a cruising instructor, so I have something to do when I finally retire. Until that happens: I spend my life working for a large American software company (Salesforce). I travel a lot for work and between trips, I try to sail as much as possible between PYC, The Rona Sailing Trust, bareboat charters in Greece and crewing for some of my friends who own their yachts. I’m standing for this post as I’m keen to give something back to the club.

Ordinary Member

Mike Fidler

My Sailing

I first stepped foot in a Wayfarer dinghy on the Norfolk Broads as a teenager – and was hooked.

After sailing dinghies on the Thames and Medway, I stated sailing yachts in 1978.  I have completed a number of RYA training courses and hold the RYA Coastal Skipper Qualification, current First Aid and VHF-DSC among others.

On joining BP in 1985, I became a member of the BP Yacht Club and acted as Secretary to the Management Committee for a period.  I became a club coastal skipper.

I was a founder member of Phoenix Yacht Club.

Looking at my logbooks, I have sailed over 11,000 miles, and while much of this has been on the south coast, I have also sailed in Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Denmark and Sweden.

I am a member of the RYA and also the Bristol Sailing Association (BSA).

My Career

I qualified as a Chartered Civil Engineer and have worked in local government (Greater London Council), the oil industry (BP) and consulting engineering (Halcrow, CH2M Hill and Jacobs).  In the latter stages of my career, I was involved in port engineering and port planning.


Now that I have retired, I have much more free time to go sailing and also to help with the running of the club.  I would like to give something back to the club and feel that my skills and experience will help ensure that the club provides sailing opportunities for everyone.

Company Secretary

David Brookes

I started sailing in the 60’s in dinghies before moving up to cruising with the family in flotilla holidays worldwide and many sailing days on PYC boats. I have an RYA Coastal skippers ticket  and  I am an Offshore skipper with the club  having been involved with the PYC for over 30 years including spells as bosun, Commodore and Vice Commodore.

Role and Responsibilities

My role has two strands to it. As Company Secretary, I am responsible for ensuring that PYC complies with the regulatory requirements that apply to a limited company.  In parallel, I act as Secretary to the Management Committee, which involves organising the MC’s regular meetings and the Annual General Meeting, and keeping records of the decisions made at these meetings.