A knock on the head while surfing convinced 29-year-old Anna Millington that she was dreaming when she was later notified about winning the PBO Project Boat.

Anna Millington, an electronics engineer from Ferndown, Dorset has won the PBO Project Boat, the Snapdragon 23 Hantu Biru.

She had been following the £7,000 boat restoration since becoming a PBO subscriber a year ago as a birthday present.

The PBO Project Boat free prize draw attracted almost 6,000 entries via magazine entry forms, online at pbo.co.uk and at the Southampton, Scotland and London boat shows. All the entries were added to a database by an independent company, and the winner was picked at random.

PBO Project Boat winner Anna Millington and her partner Andrew Ellison

PBO Project Boat winner Anna Millington and her partner Andrew Ellison

Anna said she was ‘absolutely made up’ to win Hantu Biru after entering online, and can’t wait to learn to sail with her partner Andrew Ellison.

She said: ‘For the last few years we’ve had a 19ft Fletcher speedboat. We haven’t really done much sailing before, but the week before we found out I’d won, we’d decided we were going to sell our Fletcher and get a small cruising yacht: so the fact that I should get an email from PBO later that week to say I’d won Hantu Biru was a complete shock, I can’t believe the serendipity of it.’

She added: ‘I’d been surfing that morning and taken a knock to the head. I was a bit dazed and confused, and when I saw the email I ran in to see Andrew and he didn’t believe me at first. It’s only just sunk in.’

Anna said she had enjoyed dinghy sailing with her sister when she was younger. She said: ‘Just being around this sailing lark appeals to Andrew and I so much, we really want to learn.’

Since winning Hantu Biru, Anna and Andrew have kindly been offered a half-price RYA Competent Crew course, by Universal Yachting on the River Hamble. They’ve also been kitted out with polo shirts, JB01 deck trainers and jacket tops thanks to Adidas Sailing.

Anna and Andrew plan to berth Hantu Biru at Town Quay, Southampton.

Anna said: ‘Everything is working out amazingly. There probably isn’t another boat in the country that’s had as much work done on it or so many pages written about it as Hantu Biru. I’ll be happy if people recognise her, I’m always happy to talk about boats.’

She added: ‘Hantu Biru is palatial by comparison to our little speedboat: she’s exactly what we were after. Our favourite place to go is Osborne Bay, where we usually travel up the river by stand-up paddleboard to the pub. We’re super-excited that Hantu Biru has a wind-up keel; we’ll be able to take her down Newtown River. I can’t believe I’ve won a boat. I’m so excited and so grateful to everyone who’s worked on her. I once won a cake at school, but this is a bit different.’

PBO editor David Pugh, who spent four years restoring Hantu Biru with deputy editor Ben Meakins, assisted by the rest of the team, said: ‘All of us at PBO are delighted that Hantu Biru is giving a young couple the chance to learn about and enjoy sailing. She’s the perfect boat for pottering around the creeks and anchorages of the Solent, and Anna and Andrew’s enthusiasm suggests that she’ll be getting plenty of use. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.’


Hantu Biru

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