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Sailing successes are rewarded at the Royal Southern Yacht Club Annual Prizegiving
Report: Peta Stuart-Hunt  Images: Jennie Austin

The annual Prizegiving is one of the highlights of the year at the Hamble-based Royal Southern Yacht Club, preceded by a formal dinner for 150 guests and held on Saturday evening (12th November).

It has proved to be another outstanding year for the Royal Southern, hosting a number of high profile events including the Landsail Tyres J Cup, the X-Yachts Solent Cup, Oyster Week, the J/111 European Championships, the FAST40+ Class competing for the prestigious One Ton Cup at their event in September and the inaugural and highly successful Hamble Classics Regatta ...and pretty much everything in between!

Sailing Manager Tim Thubron opened the evening's proceedings with an overview of the numerous successes gained in home waters and at regattas around the world enjoyed by many of the sailing members during the course of this year.

After a thoroughly enjoyable dinner, Rear Commodore Sailing Graham Nixon, introduced the guest speaker, Academy member Annabel Vose. Annabel recently competed in the J/70 World Championships in San Francisco and also in Lisbon, where she was racing the Extreme Series in a foiling GC32 and, earlier in the season was part of the first all-female crew in the Round Island Race. She spoke about her passion for sailing and its ups and downs accompanied by a photo collage going back to her Oppie days at the Club.

Annabel Vose, the evening's popular guest speaker, also received The International Cup from Vice Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams.

Annabel, who is doing a Masters in Marine Engineering at Southampton University, explained just how much she has enjoyed her successful and varied sailing career to date and went on to thank the Club and its volunteers for helping her to achieve her successes, saying, "I have learned everything about sailing here at this Club and I can't thank the wonderful volunteers enough for your support."

Graham Nixon then steered a steady course through the Prizegiving, presenting trophies with names such as the Tom Titts (sic) and the Export Woodbine Trophy to the Chippie Davie Trophy, and every one as meaningful to its donor and its recipient as the next.

A vast array of trophies, goblets and assorted glassware was handed out including the awarding of THE COMMODORE'S CUP to Jack Davies and presented in memory of Past Commodore John Beardsley to the Royal Southern Academy member for outstanding contribution.

Mike Bartholomew was named winner of THE WEST BOUND TROPHY - The Travellers Trophy, presented in 2016 for the furthest distance travelled to compete. Each Summer, Mike comes to the UK from South Africa to race his boat Tokoloshe.

Pete Selby, navigator on Tokoloshe, picked up The West Bound Trophy on behalf of Mike Bartholomew, presented by Vice Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams.

THE TONY DAVIS MEMORIAL TROPHY is awarded in memory of Tony Davis for achievement in offshore sailing. Yves Dervieux was the proud recipient, well known on the offshore racing circuit for success in a series of boats all named Botez Coat, winning the Normandy Channel Race, Ouistreham (the Commodore Trophy), the Morgan Cup and he was second in the Cervantes Trophy Race. This was his 'swan song' season, finishing second in class in the J/109 fleet in the Round the Island Race.

Offshore sailor Yves Dervieux with Vice Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams.

THE TANNER CRUISING TROPHY, presented in 2016 by Maggie Widdop in memory of her parents and brother, is given in special recognition of cruising. This year the award went to Russell & Helen Tribe to acknowledge their several seasons of cruising the Scottish coast in their yacht IO.

Russell & Helen Tribe received The Tanner Cruising Trophy from Maggie Widdop (centre).

Fostering new talent and providing the required momentum to continue improving sailing skills from a young age, the Club prides itself on its sailing structure, providing young enthusiasts with first-class training and opportunities, including competitive racing, in Splash (aged 4-12), Junior Cadets (aged 13-18), through to the Royal Southern Academy section (18-25).

So, in recognition of their individual contributions to this structure, the following awards were presented:

THE RICHARD CANN TROPHY was awarded to the Junior Cadet who has demonstrated by his or her endeavours both on and off the water that he or she goes the extra mile for others and is regarded as a conscientious, kind and courteous role model. Nicholas Walters was the proud recipient.

A justifiably proud Nicholas Walters receives The Richard Cann Trophy.

THE LIGHTFOOT TROPHY is awarded in memory of Nigel Lightfoot and presented by the Youth Committee to a Junior Cadet who has shown enthusiasm and encouraged the younger sailors of the Club. Ben Childerley won this but as he is at school his sister Abby collected it on his behalf.

Annabel Vose received THE INTERNATIONAL CUP, presented to a Junior Cadet or Academy member for outstanding achievement internationally and who has shown encouragement to the younger sailors in the Club.

Abby Childerley was soon in the spotlight herself when she was awarded the YOUTH EXTERNAL COMPETITION TROPHY for her recent strong performances in the Laser 4.7 Class.

Each year the DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S TROPHY is awarded for a different regatta or achievement. In 2016 it has been presented by the Cruising Committee to Janey Devine.

Topping off this remarkable evening of sailing plaudits attracting well-deserved applause, was the presentation of the Champion of Champions Trophy.

The title 'CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS' and its associated prize has been awarded for the past four years to the owner/ skipper of the boat scoring the highest points across the four Summer Series regattas. Through the Club's well-established partnership with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., this year has seen the addition of a beautiful new Champion of Champions Trophy being added to the mix of prizes awarded.

Oh, we're going to Barbados! Marc McCollin presents The Champion of Champions Trophy to Mike and Seb Blair and members of the crew of Cobra.

This year the title and the prize has been awarded to Michael and Sebastian Blair, campaigning Cobra, their King 40, with a young and talented crew. The new Champion of Champions Trophy was presented by Marc McCollin, Senior Business Development Officer, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., who said how happy he was to be representing Barbados Tourism and ensuring the continuing support for the Royal Southern YC partnership, now in its fifth year.
Marc then went on to confirm some of the Island delights that await the winners. These include a week-long holiday for two in Barbados in January, with free flights and superior accommodation and the opportunity to take part in the Barbados Week sailing events, the highlight being the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

Finally, with special thanks paid to everyone for their contributions to such a successful year, including the Volunteers, the Mark Layers, Protest Committee members, owners providing their boats and RIBs and the Club's sponsors, the evening came to a close and many retired to the Upper Bar to continue the celebrations. 

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Our Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams was recently interviewed by Sasha Twining on BBC Radio Solent's H20 slot.
Karen was asked about her childhood and how she got into sailing with her parents, how she progressed from dinghies into keel boats and about her role in helping to develop youth sailing at the Club. She explained her current role as well as her stewardship of the Royal Southern as only the second lady Commodore in the Club's 179 year history. Karen also discussed her aims and objectives for the Club going forward. It's a great listen, and we hope you enjoy it.

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