Meetings are normally held at the Newbury British Legion Club, Pelican Lane, Newbury, RG14 1NP on the second Thursday of the months October through to May starting at 7.45pm.  Meetings are free to Members, but whilst visitors and prospective members are also very welcome, a charge of £5.00 pp is made at the formal presentations. This fee will be refunded if the guest then subsequently joins the NYC.

Please note that the Pay and Display car-park in Pelican Lane opposite the British Legion, requires a payment of £2.00 for evening parking, so remember to avoid a £25.00 penalty.

Autumn 2019 – Spring 2020 Shoreside Events Programme

Our shoreside programme continues with:

10th October 2019 – Mark Slawson

Mark Slawson completed over 35 years service in the Royal Navy, joining as a Marine Engineer Officer in 1978. He served at sea on 8 ships, including as Commander (E) of the largest RN ship at the time, HMS OCEAN.
As a senior officer ashore he served in a variety of roles including Chief of Staff to a Vice Admiral, Contract Manager for Frigate and Destroyer Refits, Head of Engineering in Portsmouth Dockyard, Head of Personnel for the RN engineering branch, and ultimately as Commanding Officer of HMS SULTAN, and inaugural Commandant of the Defence College of Technical Training.
Since leaving the Senior Service he has been the Fleet & Technical Director and latterly the Operations Director of Red Funnel, the well-known provider of navigational challenge in the Solent!
Mark, who is a sailor himself, owning a Beneteau First 30, will speak about some of the challenges he has met during his long naval career and his time with Red Funnel, providing a ‘view from the engine room’ of one organisation, and a ‘view from the bridge’ of the other.
14th November 2019 – Dr JD Davies Pepys & the Navy of Charles II
12th December 2019 – Laying up supper
Once again we will be celebrating the start of the festive season with dinner at the Hare & Hounds, the menu will be circulated very soon, this is always a very popular event, so stay tuned to avoid missing out!
9th January 2020 – Tom Cunliffe
A man that needs no introduction, we are excited to announce that Tom will be coming back to the Club. He was the guest of honour at our 40th anniversary dinner.  Tom has a lifetime of sailing stories and I for one am really looking forward to this one!
13th February 2020 – Captain William Wells.  Life and Times of a ships Pilot
12th March 2020 – The NYC AGM
16th April 2020 – Roger Brydges MAIB
Roger is coming back to give us another talk on the work that he and his colleagues carry out both at home and abroad for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.


PAST 2018/19 Shoreside Events

11th May 2019 – The Newbury Yacht Club 50th Anniversary Celebration

We can now confirm that the venue has been booked and that the organisation is in full swing to bring you a fantastic night to remember!

The evening will be held at the Newbury Race Course in the all new Facility that can seat all of us in comfort and gives amazing views over the course.

11th April  2019 – Come along to our amazing quiz!

We will be holding a quiz evening, some of the questions may be boat related, but there will be plenty of general knowledge too!

14th March  2019 – The AGM

Come along and have cheese and wine with us as we sort things of for the year ahead!  The meeting will be conducted with alacrity, meaning that there will be time for socialising afterward.  We will also be runninbg the round teh Island Race! (the board game, so no-one will be getting wet!)

14th February  2019 – The Changing Face of Newbury

Historian, Tony Higgott was the curator of the formerly named Newbury Museum.  His books, ‘The Story of Newbury’, ‘Newbury In the Fifties’ and ‘The Changing Face of Newbury’ document the distant and recent history of our town.

Tony’s talk and pictures show the changes that have taken place in the area from the time of the formation of NYC to the present day.

17th January 2019 – The history and restoration of the Kennet & Avon canal

The Kennet and Avon Canal, across Southern England, is one of Britain’s premier inland waterways.  This illustrated talk tells the story of how the canal came about, its heyday, and decline.  Then we look at the vision for restoration and how that took place over the last four decades of the 20th century.

Graham Horn was for many years Secretary then Chairman of the Reading Branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, and served on the Trust Council during the 1980s and 1990s.  He continues to be involved as a qualified volunteer skipper on the Trust’s trip boat “Rose of Hungerford”.  He estimates that he has given this talk over 300 times!

6th December 2018 – Laying up supper

Once again we had the meal in the fantastic Barn at the Hare & Hounds, Speen.  The food was, as alway fantastic.  One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Uncle Albert Award, which is given out to the Skipper how has made the most impressive gaff (that has been found out about) during the year.

This year the prize was awarded to Mike and the crew of Polly for setting of on the spring cruise, having left most of the supplys and the red ensign in the trolly, on the pontoon!

8th November 2018 – THE VOYAGES OF THE “LIBERDADE” 1888 AND 2000

An illustrated presentation by Mike Austin of the story of Joshua Slocum who built the “Liberdade” when he was shipwrecked in southern Brazil and later became the first man to circumnavigate the world alone in the “Spray”.

Then Mike tells the story of David Sinnett-Jones who circumnavigated the world in a copy of Joshua’s “Spray”, and later built the “Liberdade”.

Finally, he relates how David and Mike retraced the voyage of the “Liberdade” from Paranaguá, Brazil to New York, including nineteen days single-handed from Antigua to Norfolk VA.

Mike was raised in Surfers Paradise, Australia before coming to England
to complete his schooling. In 1960, he gained his parachute wings and
served four years in the Special Forces TA, training to parachute at night
behind enemy lines to carry out covert reconnaissance sending data back
in encrypted Morse code.
He gained a cadetship at the College of Air Training, in Hamble, and
graduated as a Commercial Pilot in 1964.
During his 33 year career with BEA and British Airways he flew the
Vanguard, Trident, BAC 1-11 and variants of the B747, gaining his
command in 1973. During his early career he also found time to fly the
DH Rapide for the Rhine Army Parachute Association, based in Detmold.
His sailing career began in earnest when, in 1994, he competed in the
Sydney-Hobart and the Sydney-Mooloolaba races while undergoing
chemotherapy for Lymphoma, for which he is an ongoing patient.
In 1996 he joined the crew of “Time and Tide” in the BT Global
Challenge, sailing the Rio to Wellington, and Wellington to Sydney legs
before acute Tenosynovitis of all his fingers and thumbs forced him to
leave the boat in Sydney, and undergo intensive physiotherapy at the BA
Medical Centre back in the UK.
After retirement in 1997, he completed his first of three Transatlantic
crossings to gain the Ocean endorsement of his Yachtmaster power and
sail. He is a member of the RORC, the Royal Southern Yacht Club, the
Port Solent Yacht Club and the Army Sailing Association. He is also a
Life member of the RNLI and Downhill Only Ski Club, Switzerland.
Mike has sailed well over 60,000 miles and lives in Port Solent where he
keeps his yacht “Up To Speed”, a Dehler 35. He also enjoys time on the
water aboard his canal boat.
In the summer of 2017 Mike was diagnosed with stage four Melanoma
affecting his right lung and liver, a deadly and, as yet, incurable form of
cancer. He is currently receiving a new immunotherapy treatment at the
Q.A. Hospital, Portsmouth and is raising funds for the new Centre for
Cancer Immunotherapy at University Hospital, Southampton.

Mike’s interest in Immunotherapy developed when he became a donor
for the new Centre for Cancer Immunology at University Hospital,
Southampton, for which he raises funds with his talks at other clubs.
Mike will explain the development of this revolutionary form of
cancer treatment from its origins as long ago as the 1890s to the
present day. He will talk about conventional forms of treatment and
how Immunotherapy differs in its approach to destroying cancer cells.
Finally he will talk about the work being done at the new centre and
and their aims to find a CURE FOR CANCER.
There will be a collection for the fund during the evening.

Following last weeks talk both of Joshua Slocum’s books are out of copyright and are therefore available free of charge in electronic format at Project Gutenberg.

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6317
Voyage of the Liberdade by Joshua Slocum https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18541

11th October 2018 – Rob Chicken

A Nice Quiet Life By Alfred H Burlinson D.R. RNR Ret


This is the life story of my grandfather, originally written by him during his retirement. He was an engineer, and an engineering officer in the merchant navy, from 1908 to 1945. The book describes a lifetime of adventure, hardship and joy on the different ships he sailed, from grand liners to rusty hulks. He survived two world wars, the depression of the nineteen thirties, and even took his family to sea with him.

He almost sailed in the Titanic, but was moved to another ship two weeks before she sailed. Then later during the First World War he volunteered as a tug boat engineer at the Gallipoli Landings where he saved a ship from sinking, from a torpedo strike. During the Second World War, he survived two shipwrecks and avoided another sinking, thanks to the Enigma code breakers.

During his lifetime at sea he met a whole variety of people throughout the world, and his writing gives glimpses in to the World at that time.

Speaker – Rob Chicken

Winner of the 2012 Haven Academy Award for Innovation

“The Steersman is a truly innovative product that can bring a new dimension of enjoyment and safety to sailing”, Sir Robin Knox-Johnson

13th September 2018 – Cheese and wine open evening 

We are opening this evening up to anyone who is interested in sailing and would like to come along and find out more about the Club.

 3rd May 2018Fitting Out Supper

The Fox Inn Peasmore

This year’s fitting out supper was at a new venue for the club.  We all started to arrive at the Fox Inn for about 1915, sitting down for dinner at 1945.  Over fifty of us enjoyed a fantastic meal and superb service while Laura passed around the questions for a quiz, each table had a copy of 6 photos and had to identify different harbours and boat makes, as well as international code flags.  The quiz master had tried to come up with questions that would range from easy to hard, it turned out that the range may have been tighter than that!

Once dinner had been cleared and coffees were on their way we drew the raffle, this year Trevor seemed to win just about every ticked.  I think he may have worn a grove in the carpet!

With the raffle done it was time to announce the winners of the quiz and for Barney to address us.

The best way of getting the attention of the members was to ring the last orders bell, which did the trick!  The scoring on the quiz ranged from zero points to 3 out of 6, the winners received a small bottle of rum each.

Barney gave thanks and a bunch of flowers to Laura for organising the event and a round of applause for the Pub staff.  He then went on to detail the upcoming rally to East Cowes and the spring cruise later in May.

Normally this is the point at which the Charles Howlett Cup is awarded for the best result by a club member in the last years Round the Island race.  It turned out that nobody took part in last year’s race, so we will have to wait and see if anyone takes part this year.

There was plenty of time for chatting and sharing hope for the coming season before everyone started to head home after a very successful evening, a big thank you to those people who organised it.

12th April 2018 – MAIB – Sailing Accident Investigation – Roger Brydges

Roger Brydges an Inspector of Marine Accidents at the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)  will be provide a behind-the-scenes look at the work of the government’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch as well as speaking about the lessons that have come from some of the cases with which he has been involved, including investigation of the two separate fatalities on the last Clipper Round the World Race.

Roger is himself a lifelong sailor in dinghies and yachts, and has been with the MAIB for over 20 years.

8th February 2018 – Flying Boats of the Sky – Colin van Geffen

FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky) recalls the Golden Years of the commercial flying boat era, when Southampton and its Empire flying boats led the world. From the beginnings in 1913 to the swansong in the 50s and later.

11th January 2018 – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash – Martin Thomas

Martin Thomas, a retired surgeon, previous Watch Officer on-board the sail training schooner Sir Winston Churchill and former Ocean Cruising Club Commodore.

Martin has an interest in naval history and in particular naval medicine in the age of sail. He has written for yachtsmen on the subject of emergency medicine at sea. Martin presented his fascinating talk on the health and medicine in the early days of the British Navy – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash !!

14th December 2017 – NYC Laying Up Supper – Hare and Hounds, Speen

This year’s laying up supper was again held at the Hare & Hounds in Speen. The restaurant can accommodate 70 in style, so it is a great venue to use for the large turnout that this event commands.

We sat down at 2000 and had a fabulous three course meal. After which the important business of the evening was attended to. Namely the Uncle Albert award, which is presented to the skipper that has shamed himself in the most spectacular way, preferably in front of witnesses during the year.

It is the prerogative of the current holder to sniff out the stories and interrogate the witnesses, before handing over the hallowed trophy.

As the current holder of the award, Derek had the honour of selecting the winner and then presenting the trophy. Rather than trying to find out about any good stories, Derek asked for confession, surprisingly this method generated several well-crafted narratives that Derek informed us all of at length!

The summer rally with the strong wind that we had generated several stories on its own. Including the winner, Barney, who managed to inadvertently pick up two mooring buoys at the same time in the Yarmouth roads.

Barney was, as always eloquent in his acceptance of the award. The direct quote to Derek was “You Bas*ard”.

A note to all skippers, remember, Barney will be watching you, ready to hand the award on in 12 months!

Once the raffle had been drawn there was plenty of time for chatting and sharing memories of the season before everyone started to head home after a very successful evening, a big thank you to all involved, particularly Kate for organising the evening.


23rd November 2017 – 200,000 Miles – A life of adventure – Jimmy Cornell

Creator of the ARC, Jimmy commenced this winter talks series in fantastic style. There was huge turnout of Members and Guests who were clearly transfixed by Jimmy’s incredible sailing life story and vast range of wonderful accompanying photographs. He and his family have explored almost every corner of the Oceans, from the Antarctic to the Arctic, including stops at Pitcairn and Easter Islands and was one of the few yachts to have successfully crossed from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the North West Passage.

Jimmy also sold and signed copies of his latest book, ‘200,000 Miles – A Life of Adventure‘, but if you missed the talk, do purchase from Amazon by clicking the link.

An accomplished sailor and successful author, Jimmy Cornell has sailed 200,000 miles in all oceans of the world including three circumnavigations as well as voyages to Antarctica, Patagonia, Alaska, Greenland, Arctic Canada and Spitsbergen.

Thousands of sailors have fulfilled their dream of blue water cruising with the help of Jimmy Cornell’s books, among them the international bestseller World Cruising Routes. Now in its 7th edition, and with 200,000 copies sold to date, this is one of the best selling nautical publications in the world.

As the founder of the highly successful ARC transatlantic rally, Jimmy Cornell is credited with having devised the offshore cruising rally concept. In the last three decades, Jimmy Cornell has organized 30 transatlantic rallies, five round the world rallies and one round the world race, with over 3,000 boats and 15,000 sailors having participated in his sailing events.

September 2017 NYC Cheese and wine evening

October 2017 – Bembridge Harbour – History and Future – Malcolm Thorpe

Bembridge Harbour welcomes in excess of 30,000 visitors over the year. Malcolm Thorpe provided an insight to the changes he and his team have made and plan for this beautiful and fascinating harbour.

PAST 2016/17 and 2015/16 Shoreside Events

Thursday 27th April 2017 – Fitting Out Supper – Highclere Village Hall

This year’s fitting out supper was a Ceilidh  and a great success with a live band and a dance caller.

Wednesday 12th April 2017 – Donald Campbell – Across the Lake

Phil Holt provided an insight to the charismatic, daring, and brave character that was Donald Campbell, the only man to hold both the world land and water speed records in the same year. Loved by 1950’s & 60’s Britain, what pushed him to that final fateful attempt at the world water speed record? Phil also took a behind the scenes look, using clever reconstruction, at that fateful day in January 1967 on Coniston Water to find the cause of the crash and an update on the current recovery of both Bluebird K7 and Donald himself.

Thursday 9th March 2017 – NYC AGM 2017

Wine and cheese was supplied to aid the digestion of the matters of business…

The agenda and documentation is  available to download here


Thursday 9th February 2017 – Martin Thomas – Recreating Shackleton’s extraordinary voyage


“It is just over a century since Sir Ernest Shackleton’s celebrated Antarctic expedition when the Endurance was crushed by ice in the Weddell Sea. On reaching Elephant Island, Shackleton set out with 5 men in the James Caird on one of the most remarkable and hazardous small boat journeys ever made. After 800 miles in the Southern Ocean in winter, he landed on South Georgia. With two companions he then crossed the unknown mountain range to Stromness to seek help. This talk will give an illustrated account of Shackleton’s extraordinary polar adventures and add a postscript on the speaker’s own adventure in sailing to South Georgia and following the exact route taken by Shackleton across the mountains.”

Martin Thomas gave a wonderful account of his voyage on Skip Novak’s Pelagic yacht to follow in Shackleton’s journey. Martin not only had inspiring recent and original photographs from both Shackleton’s expedition and taken recently from Pelagic. But also had amazing old film footage and even radio recordings from Shackleton himself.

Click on photo’s for the YM article.

S Endurance 3

S James Caird 5 launch

Thursday 12th January 2017 – Tristan Gooley – How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns, from Puddles to the Sea

How to Read Water: Clues, Signs & Patterns, from Puddles to the Sea

NYC welcomed back Tristan for his new presentation on natural navigation, despite the snow forecast both Tristan and a lot of NYC Members braved the elements and were treated to another excellent presentation,in which Tristan gave more insights and examples from around the world and from his own journeys to demonstrate the different ways we can read water. From garden ponds to patterns in the Pacific his talk was full of surprises.

If you missed his talk there is information on his website Natural Navigator

Some recent reviews of How to Read Water:

    • Gooley has done his subject proud – this is seriously fascinating stuff. – The Times
    • His observational skills can be breathtaking. – The Sunday Times
    • His tales recount wisdom gathered on the ground (literally), often by trial and error, and his joy at discovering something almost makes you feel you did the work yourself. – The Spectator
    • Quite apart from being well written and an enjoyable read, there is plenty in the book that is revelatory. – The Royal Institute of Navigation

Thursday 8th December 2016 – Christmas Dinner / Laying-up Supper – Hare and Hounds – Speen


This year’s laying up supper was again held at the Hare & Hounds in Speen. The restaurant can accommodate 70 in style, so it is a great venue to use for the large turnout that this event commands.

This year there was an important announcement that needed to be made and ceremony carried out, one of the early founding members of the Club had recently ‘crossed the bar’ and we had been asked by one of his friends to raise a glass of rum in his honour. So it was that we found ourselves toasting to John Lester with a tot of Pusser’s finest. Many thanks to Haydn Gunningham for generously supplying the rum.

We sat down at 2000 and had a fabulous three course meal. After which the important business of the evening was attended to. Namely the Uncle Albert award, which is presented to the skipper that has shamed himself in the most spectacular way, preferably in front of witnesses during the year.


It is the prerogative of the current holder to sniff out the stories and interrogate the witnesses, before handing over the hallowed trophy.

Nick Handy had the honour this year, after reviewing the true criteria for the award decided that it was not restricted to skippers, but that crew and onlookers were all fair game too! There were some very worried faces around the room at this point…..
Nick went on to outline some of the runners up before explaining the storey of the winner. It started on the spring cruise while the flotilla were in a west country harbour, during the departure the skipper in question was untying is lines from one of the other boat when he unwittingly sat on that boats throttle control, sending all of the boats in that raft hurtling towards another club boat at 6Knts!


Derek Manning was not able to be with us and so Nick was forced to call him on the phone, and while on speaker presented Derek with the award. It was the first time that technology has been used in this was to present this prestigious prize.
A note to all skippers, remember, Derek will be watching you, ready to hand the award on in 12 months!

Once the raffle had been drawn there was plenty of time for chatting and sharing memories of the season before everyone started to head home after a very successful evening, a big thank you to those people who organised it.


Wednesday 23rd November 2016 – Bob Shepton – Addicted to Adventure

Bob Shepton is a highly experienced Arctic explorer who has led several Sailing and Climbing Expeditions to Greenland and Arctic Canada in his yacht, the Westerly 33 ft sloop ‘Dodo’s Delight’. Bob was awarded Yachtsman of the Year 2013. You can read more about his inspiring adventures at: www.bobshepton.co.uk/about.html

He acts as Arctic Advisor/Ice Pilot to Sailing Expeditions and undertakes Yacht Skippering and Deliveries anywhere in the world.

Bob traversed the North West Passage east to west in 2012, and now west to east in 2013, in his own small boat. He is now experienced and qualified to act as Ice Pilot and Adviser for this Passage, and the Arctic generally

Thursday 13th October 2016 – Debby Clement – Do Whales have eyebrows?

Friday 13th May 2016 – Fitting Out Supper
The NYC Fitting Out Supper 2016 was on Friday 13th May at the Portal Hall in Burghclere.

As always an excellent and well enjoyed event, but this year we had to say farewell from the Committee of former Commodore and long-term stalwart of the NYC Committee, Mike Bassett whose guidance, enthusiasm and knowledge will be sorely missed by all. Mike was presented with farewell gifts including some engraved Crystal “Hotch Potch” glasses.

14th April 2016 – Stokey Woodall
stokey woodall merge
Stokey Woodall, born in the Black Country and author of “Who The Hell Is Stokey Woodall” provided an excellent and amusing reflection of his early sailing experiences and seafaring adventures, plus as a celestial navigator also gave a fantastic insight on the Universe and how small we really are in the big picture.

If you want to learn some more about Stokey visit his company website International Ocean Services

10th March 2016 – AGM
The NYC AGM always sets a high bench mark for AGM’s with supplies of wine and cheese to help digest the formal business.

Details of the newly elected committee for 2016/17 are now on the Committee page,

11th February 2016 – Malcolm Nelson – Forty Years Catching Smugglers
Malcolm provided and amusing insight into how Customs Officers catch drug smugglers in the Green Channel. Why they pick some people, and not others. What is it that gives the smuggler away. What are the tell-tale signs of guilt or innocence.

14th January 2016 – Ken Endean – Four Men In A Boat
ken endean
Ken Endean, well known to readers of Yachting Monthly for his insightful articles on coastal cruising and anchoring gave an interesting talk entitled: “Four Men In A Boat” – which was an in depth story of some remarkable boating in peace and war.

NYC is within 30 minutes drive of Newbury, Winchester, Swindon, Andover, Basingstoke, Hungerford, Malborough, Reading, Bracknell, Didcot, Whitchurch, Wantage, Abingdon and Oxford.

NYC serving sailors and yachts-people in Berkshire, North Hampshire, East Wiltshire and South Oxfordshire.

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