Sailing Committee

The Sailing Committee are responsible to manage the day to day operations of the club. The Sailing Committee consists of the elected Rear Commodore (Sailing), Rear Commodore (Administration) and Treasurer plus a range of roles determined by the jobs that need to be done and the skills of the volunteers available.

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Rear Commodore (Sailing)

Richard Ash

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

This is my 34th 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 in 2019 made my first Ocean passage 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, but in common with most members, only a handful in 2020.

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

The club tries to keep fees as affordable as possible consistent with maintaining the yachts in good condition and funding a rolling programme of boat replacement.  The very low amount of sailing possible in 2020 because of COVID has stalled this plan and I cannot help but think the club will be very different as we come out of this.  In my view there are two main challenges for 2021-22:

a) Refreshing the pool of volunteers to run and grow the club.
b) Balancing annual membership and daily sailing fees so that we are resilient to the ups and downs of COVID.
In the medium term I also believe that the club needs to look at the best way forward for covering the capital costs of replacement boats.  In the past the club has relied heavily on member 10 year loans and this model seems to be working less well now, so we will need other structures, or we will have to rely entirely on saving from the membership and sailing fees.

Role and Responsibilities

Chairman of the Sailing Committee, responsible for achieving SC objectives and managing our sailing programme, our boats and sailing activities.


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.

Bosun (Quartette)

Ray Beadell

I joined Phoenix via Judith and the U3A in May 2018.

I have not sailed, apart from 2 or 3 recreational sails since I was in my teens. Now having left the rat race this year I returned back to sailing via Clipper race training. After a very enjoyable first week of training I decided that there is a better return on expenditure through club sailing. I thus withdrew from the Clipper fraternity and subsequently completed day skipper training. I hope to move onto being a club skipper and complete coastal accreditation in the near future.

I look forward for many hours of sailing the Phoenix boats throughout the ongoing years.
I have always been involved in a marine environment and when offered the role as bosun for Quartette saw this as a fulfilling way to spend some of my time.

Role summary:
To coordinate the maintenance of Quartette, working around club bookings, with the objective of keeping her in a seaworthy condition with as little interruption as possible to the sailing schedule as possible.

Responsible to:
PYC RC Sailing for performance of the role and PYC Treasurer for expenditure.
Additional support will be provided by a wider Bosunry team.

Role detail:
1. Develop a maintenance plan and an operating budget with the Treasurer, RC-S and the other PYC Bosun.

2. Plan and coordinate routine maintenance, working with suppliers, contractors, and other club members.

3. Work with the Bosun of other PYC boat to share ideas and workload and endeavour to keep at least one club boat in service to support bookings.

4. Develop a network of Bosunry specialists in the club to spread the load.

5. Reactively resolve unexpected issues making use of whatever resources are available. The ability to travel to Haslar will be a strong benefit for this.

6. A willingness and ability to resolve issues hands-on will be valuable.


Bookings Officer

Tony King

Role and Responsibilities

  1. Operates the booking system.
  2. Ensures that all members have a fair and equitable chance of securing bookings making no distinction between subscribers to the Subscription Discount Scheme and other members.
  3. Provides booking status information to the Sailing Committee.

Skipper & Training Officer

Laurent Morlet

Role summary:

To coordinate the approval, monitoring and development of club skippers and to develop and promote the club’s training programme, working with the club’s RYA Training Principal and club instructors.

Responsible to:

Rear Commodore – Sailing and PYC’s RYA Training Principal for all RYA courses.

Role detail:

  1. To maintain, develop and promote the PYC Skipper Manual.
  2. To manage the process of club skipper approval and upgrade.
  3. To maintain a record of sailing qualifications for all club skippers.
  4. To maintain an up to date record of club skipper First Aid qualifications and monitor their currency, sending out reminders prior to expiry and agreeing remedial actions where appropriate. Advising the Sailing Committee of any suspension to skipper status as a result of this.
  5. To work with the Rear Commodore – Admin to review Incident Reports as required and to put in place remedial actions where appropriate.
  6. To develop the annual Training programme, in liaison with club instructors and the RYA Training Principal.
  7. To assist the RYA Training Principal with annual inspections.

Racing Officer

Alasdair MacKenzie

I started sailing as a child, with my aunt and uncle, cruising on the west coast of Scotland and competing in West Highland Week (this was on an old wooden yacht, built in 1939). They decided to get a bit more competitive, and bought a half tonner, then a quarter tonner, and we competed at Clyde Week, Dublin, Cork, and Cowes. My sailing continued with two Fastnets, and many RORC races. I moved to the Middle East, and recent sailing has been between the extremes of racing a Laser for many years, and crewing on a Volvo 60 doing “trips round the bay” for Abu Dhabi tourists. While there, I was the Racing Secretary for the Abu Dhabi Sailing Club.

I hope that organising the racing for the Phoenix Yacht Club is easier than recalculating the personal handicaps for helms and crew on a weekly basis!

If you have a look at my website, www.graniteunderfoot.com, you can read about my other hobby.

Role summary:

To promote and develop racing within the club.

Responsible to:

Rear Commodore – Sailing

Role detail:

  1. To develop and promote an annual race programme.
  2. To manage the completion and submission of the annual RORC/ISAF Safety Checklist – working with, and involving, the club Safety Officer
  3. To identify suitable skippers and crew and manage all entries into selected RORC races.
  4. To identify suitable skippers and crew for RTI race and assist skipper with completing the entry.
  5. To ensure that any boat that requires it is correctly IRC rated, including annual renewals, working with and involving, the appropriate boat Bosun.
  6. To ensure all entry and safety criteria have been met for any boat entry, including skipper and crew training and qualifications.
  7. To work with the Rear Commodore – Admin when reviewing Incident Reports as a result of racing and to put in place remedial actions where appropriate.

Cruising Officer

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.

In PYC I am the cruising officer on the sailing committee and one of my bigger tasks is to coordinate the summer cruise. If you have ideas of where we can go on future years please let me know

Role summary:

To promote and develop cruising within the club.

Responsible to:

Rear Commodore – Sailing

Role detail:

  1. To develop an annual cruising programme, seeking the views of and input from other members.
  2. To identify skipper and crew requirements, and any other limiting factors, for any passages.
  3. To work with the MarComms Officer promoting cruise options and plans to members.
  4. To work with the Bookings Officer and develop an appropriate timescale and process for bookings, that ensures fairness to all members.
  5. To identify chart, pilot and any other material needs for all passages and the effect on sailing fee supplements.
  6. To work with the Bosun of the boat in use to ensure that the boat is suitable for the cruising area and passages, including any legal or special requirements.
  7. To work with other members of the sailing committee in developing and achieving SC operational objectives.

Rear Commodore (Administration)

Tony King

Background – Sailing & PYC Membership

I have been a member of PYC since 2018.  Since retiring in 2016, I have sailed over 20 days per year (except 2020). I am RYA Day Skipper (through PYC Training Team) and PYC Inshore Skipper.  During lockdown I have passed the YachtMaster theory exam and I am now building my experience and sailing miles now we are back on the water. I planned the navigation from Ramsgate to Haslar to bring Quartette back home after her engine replacement.

My Career

I qualified as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and have worked for ICI, Deloitte Consulting and Vodafone.  At 30 years old, I decided to transition from Engineering Management to Information Technology Management.  Whilst at Vodafone I built a significant Offshore Technology Unit in three Countries with 7000+ employees.  My career has given me a lot of experience in administration, managing projects & services, and most important, collaboration across teams.

Relevant Experience

I have been the Rear Commodore Administration and I am willing to stand again unless someone else wants the job. I have also been Membership Secretary for 1 year, and Booking Officer for 2 years working closely with Club Members.
I would like to continue to set up some project and service work alongside other (non committee) volunteers who would like to contribute to the improving and running of the club.  One example is the collaboration team focussed on recruitment of new members and marketing PYC.

Role and Responsibilities

Responsible for the efficient administration of the Club’s day-to-day operations.

Membership Secretary

Tony King

Role and Responsibilities

  1. Maintains the register of all members & their contact details on PYC Website.
  2. Acts as central point of contact for all potential new members to the club.
  3. Makes contact with & issue club details to potential new club members.
  4. Assists potential new club members onto first sail on a club boat.
  5. Presents potential new club members for election to the club to named officers of the Sailing committee.
  6. Maintains the buddy system to help new members settle in to the club.
  7. Co-ordinates renewals of all memberships and collection of fees due 1st March each year.