Meet some of our Club Skippers

We have three levels of Club Skipper, click on any photo to read more about them:

  • Inshore – Can sail in the area bounded by Anvil Point in the west, Selsey Bill in the east and 6 nautical miles south of the coastline.
  • Coastal – Can sail in the area bounded by Land’s End in the west, North Foreland in the east and 12 nautical miles south of the coastline.
  • Offshore – Can sail in the area bounded by the insurance limits of the vessel: Brest to the River Elbe, including the British Isles and up to 60NM from a safe haven.

jQuery('.fc-event').attr('target', '_blank');

Offshore Skipper

Richard Ash

This is my 32nd 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, but so far have not made Ocean passages.

Mostly the shorter trips I skipper are a couple of days and therefore between the Chichester and Weymouth areas, depending on tide and weather. We often like to eat ashore on at least one night, but in the summer cooking on board and chilling out through the evening in the cockpit at anchor somewhere is magical too. I like to run a relaxed boat and anyone who wants to have a go at planning a passage or running the boat for a passage can do so. I am also generally happy to step aside and be mate or crew if there is an inexperienced skipper who just wants someone along for insurance.


Inshore Skipper

Richard Aust

Coastal Skipper

Ray Beadell

Since taking up sailing in 2018 I have had a busy time progressing through competent crew, day skipper and gained my yacht-master coastal skipper in 2020

The club has been a real asset to me and I have enjoyed sailing with quite a few members. I am keen to continue to develop my skills and undertake a cross channel passage which I have yet to do.

The higher percentage of my sailing has been on Quartette, probably because of my bosun role for the boat. I am keen to take the boat on a few multi day passages. Whilst I do enjoy eating ashore eating on-board is must for a number of reasons including the social side.

Both weekdays and weekends are fine for me.

Offshore Skipper

John Buckley

A former long-ish distance cruising and racing crew /skipper from the days before sat-nav! Now resuming more sailing; usually at a more gentle pace.

Married. Two adult daughters.

Coastal Skipper

Laurence Cale

I first learned to sail when I was at school where I ended up as a dinghy instructor. After a hiatus of several years raising a family and earning a crust I returned to it with Phoenix several years ago and am now a coastal skipper. My sailing trips are pretty relaxed and I am happy for the crew to pitch in their ideas. I also like to practice some of the skills needed for boat handling to keep us all sharp. I usually book in the winter months to take advantage of the Solent being less crowded and the wind more reliable.

I usually sail weekends although occasionally longer trips.  I like to have a plan for what I am going to do and am more than happy if anyone wants to do something or go somewhere specific.  If you want to do the planning, act as skipper or practice skills for Yachtmaster then we’ll try to build that in.  My usual weekend plan is to meet up on Friday evening then get going early on Saturday for a full day’s sailing.  Sunday tends to be a more leisurely return to Haslar.  My challenges for 2021 are to go to the places on the Solent that I don’t regularly go to – the ones that are a bit more tricky!

Coastal Skipper

Andy Connor

Inshore Skipper

Tinu Cornish

If you see sailing as an adventure – including mixing with people from all over the world, who do all sorts of interesting jobs and who love good food and good conversation then please do join me.

As a working mother I have never been able to do as much sailing as I would like but bit by bit, over the years I have gained all my qualifications up to Coastal Skipper practical level. I therefore welcome everyone who has a thirst to learn. It does mean teamwork and acceptance are important on my trips. I have teamed up with some fantastic very experienced ‘first mates’ and the whole emphasis is on everyone improving and learning. What ever your level of sailing we will support you to improve and develop – just like I am myself!

I learnt to sail as a sixth former on the Norfolk Boards and then did not start sailing again until 2006. Since then I have sailed all over the Mediterranean, as well as the Baltic, the Canaries, the West Coast of Scotland, the East Coast of Britain, Pembrokeshire and the West coast of Ireland, Holland and Western France in addition to the Solent. I now have nearly 5000 miles under my belt. I love racing and have done the Fastnet, Cowes week 3 times and also race dinghy’s on the river Thames and on reservoirs.  I look forward to welcoming you.

Inshore Skipper

Grant Eldred

Coastal Skipper

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.

Offshore Skipper

Colin Field

Inshore Skipper

Andy Gibson

Greece and Turkey
Australia Whitsunday islands
A few cross channel routes
Mostly Solent and local region
Sailing for ~ 25 years

Inshore Skipper

Marcus Gover

Offshore Skipper

John Halliday

I started sailing as occasional crew on keel-boat races out of Cowes and Chichester Harbour, then supported two children on five successive dinghies.  After that I decided it was my turn and bought a Swift 23 bilge-keel yacht that I kept for three years on a swinging mooring in the Bosham Channel.

I was introduced to PYC in 2008 by founder member Jonathan Gillams, and decided that joining the club made much more sense than owning my own boat.  Through the club’s excellent training provision I’ve since progressed to Yachtmaster and Club Offshore Skipper.

As a retired engineer I’m an informal member of the bosunry team, supporting the boat electrics and electronics, but will turn my hand to any jobs needing doing on the boat.  I was part of the commissioning team when we bought RelaX in Denmark, and sailed the first leg back to Holland.

I’ve logged more than 9,000M, much of it with the Club in the British Isles, France and the Netherlands, and also sailed on flotillas, yacht charters and friends’ boats in Scotland,  the Baltic, Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

I’ve participated twice in the RTI and done a couple of cross-channel RORC races.  When cruising I like to plan an efficient passage making best use of wind and tide.  If joined by my wife Alice – mainly a fair weather sailor – our outings are likely to be gentle with a focus on lovely coastal scenery and overnight stops, sometimes combined with a country walk ashore.

My current preoccupation is trying to hone my sail trimming skills – especially on RelaX.  I’m very happy to step back and help other members gain experience of passage planning and boat handling, and very willing to act as mate or crew to other club skippers.

Coastal Skipper

Judith Hankey

About me

I have been sailing since I was a kid and that was in both dinghies and a very small cruiser (recall the 17ft Hurley Silhouette?) with my family.

So I started coastal sailing in my 20s (with friends not parents) and did some of the RYA courses and we shared two yachts on the east coast, a Sadler 29 and a Westerly 33. When we moved to the south coast was when we discovered PYC and joined that about 10 years ago.

I am mostly retired now and tend to prefer to sail mid-week since it is much easier to organise and frees the boats up for people who still have to work full-time. I am married to Richard Ash and hence the term ‘we’ in the sailing we do together.

I mostly like discovering new places and re-visiting old favourites in UK sailing. I love sailing in the sun and we have had many enjoyable holidays in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Canaries, but also Stockholm archipelago and Denmark. Last year we went up to Scotland sailing 4 times and the weather was kind, warm and indeed sunny too. I am a fair-weather sailor and rarely sail in horrible weather and the winter.

I am qualified to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore but I am Coastal skipper with PYC simply because I do not get much pleasure out of the longer passages.

When sailing with me as skipper

I will often be around the Solent mid-week and you may be asked to do any one of many things that need doing on a boat. Helming, handling ropes, working winches, passing around biscuits and making a cuppa too. I have to warn you that I can get quite picky on looking after a boat and keeping her clean!

I am happy for people to practise the things that they have learned either on a shore based course or in a practical course, such as working out the course to steer, whether we can get into that river at the present state of tide, creating a pilotage plan to get us into that river. When the conditions are benign I am also happy for people to take the helm and park the boat. With little wind we have been practising reversing, turning in tight circles and coming alongside empty pontoons. It is all part of the basics of boat handling.

Offshore Skipper

Robert Homan

Inshore Skipper

Terry Kellett

Offshore Skipper

Robert Lewcock

I was first cast adrift in a rowing boat in the North Sea in the 1950s; during the 1960s I sailed dinghies on the Deben. I joined the RN in 1968, gaining a day skipper ticket during training. I was awarded my Ocean Navigation certificate and appointed navigator of a frigate. I also commanded a FPB  in the South China Sea. My nautical activities now focus on leisure sailing within PYC where I qualified as a RYA Yachtmaster Offshore.

Offshore Skipper

Tom Lynch

My passion for all forms of watersports 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 and safety boat driver and most recently an offshore yachtmaster. In the early days with PYC I had a share in a yacht and mainly used the club to progress through my qualifications via the excellent coastal and offshore YM courses. However, since selling our yacht, PYC has become my yachting home. My sailing genes are definitely more cruiser than racer and I have regularly skippered summer cruise weeks and organised many trips outside the Solent to France, the West Country, the Channel Islands and also skippered the delivery trip for Relax from the Baltic to Haslar. I enjoy helping people develop their sailing skills during my trips and especially with providing mentored skippering opportunities for YM Offshore qualifying passages. I am also currently a PYC skipper assessor and I am happy to help mentor aspiring club skippers and provide informal opportunities to develop your skills during my trips. I also enjoy cooking and tend to prefer having nice evening meals on board which, in addition to generally being as good or better than those ashore, also significantly reduces the costs of the trips for crews. I now only work part time, self employed so I am generally available during the week if the boats are free and you need a skipper or some help – just get in touch.

Offshore Skipper

Laurent Morlet

Been sailing since I was a child.
Windsurfing and Hobbie cat competitor in my youth.
Windsurfing and dinghy instructor in France together with offshore licence.
Yacht racing as a student.
Sailing with me will be an opportunity to upskill if you are up for it. you can take own a skipper role with a safety net

Coastal Skipper

Steve Perks

Offshore Skipper

Ted Sankey

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.

My sailing would be limited to the Solent and the adjacent south coast spending nights in UK ports/marinas, for family reasons.

Offshore Skipper

John Shield

Inshore Skipper

Tony King

I joined the club in May 2017, I took my Day Skipper theory (online) in September 2018 and I passed my RYA Day Skipper exam with PYC in October 2018. I passed my PYC Inshore Skipper Appraisal in May 2019 and my PYC RelaX Familiarisation in June 2019. I passed my YM theory (online) in July 2020.  I am now working on further building my sailing experience as PYC Skipper and preparing for YM Coastal.

Offshore Skipper

Tony Riley

40+ years sailing – cruising and racing. RYA Cruising Instructor. Commercially endorsed RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore

Coastal Skipper

Peter Lloyd

RYA qualification Held: Yachtmaster Coastal
Club Skipper level: Coastal
I started sailing yachts in 2005 with a Day Skipper course to enable family flotilla holidays in the Med. Since then I have accumulated about 4.5k nautical miles sailing in the Solent, along the South Coast (London to Plymouth so far), a few hops across the Channel and back, Greece, Croatia, the Baltic and the Caribbean, mostly on flotilla or bareboat charters. I always learn something every time I go out on the water and sailing is the one activity that makes me “switch off” from everything else.
Sailing ambition – round the UK.

Inshore Skipper

Seb Elwell

Experience – Day Skipper and working towards Coastal, trying to build miles!
We have a 9 year old daughter who will sometimes join us sailing – so bring children / grandchildren along and we can arrange safe, fun, family friendly sailing trips and get the next generation of PYC members inspired by sailing.
Leaving children behind, I’m also keen to act as mate for longer more challenging sailing under more experienced skippers.  Any opportunity to get some miles in and a good long sail would always be welcomed.

Offshore Skipper

Andy McGhee

Inshore Skipper

Peter Gardner

I got the boating bug when I was still at school, sailing dinghies in Chichester. When I first came to the Southampton area (for my first job) I took the equivalent of RYA day skipper (practical and theory) and Yachtmaster theory . I continued on and off with windsurfers, dinghies, powerboats and keel boats. For the last decade I’ve been able to develop a more structured approach with yachts and motor cruisers. I joined PYC in the spring of 2018 and did my RYA Coastal Skipper and club skipper appraisal in May 2019. I prefer shorter trips which therefore tend to be in the Solent. There is nothing better than being at anchor in a Solent harbour having lunch on board in the sunshine. I also enjoy practising manoeuvres.

Inshore Skipper

David Adshead

A Club Skipper 10 years experience.

Inshore Skipper

Nick Roffey

Approx 2000 miles and 90 days at sea, Solent and Med

Coastal Skipper

David Hiscock

Inshore Skipper

Bo Povlsen

Coastal Skipper

Roy Cook

Eight years Sailing Yachts – 15 years sailing dinghies – owned Parker 505, Laser 3000
Skipped yacht – Portsmouth – Guernsey and back.
Skipped yacht – Liverpool to Skye stopping at Ireland at various Islands on route.
Skipped the Crinan Canal on route from Skye – Largs
Skipped 5 weeks in the Western Islands of Scotland.
General Sailing / Summer Cruise Skipper with PYC
General Sailing / Summer Cruise Skipper in the Med.
General Sailing /Summer Cruise Skipper with CSSC
General Sailing / Summer Cruise Skipper Royal Artillery Yacht Club
Racing PYC/ CSSA / Royal Southern Yacht Club.