HRH The Princess Royal presented the RYA Yachtmaster of the Year 2013 award at this week's London Boat Show

City banker Joseph Macdonald has been awarded the RYA Yachtmaster of the Year 2013 for his ‘thorough technical knowledge’, sailing skills and ‘sheer enthusiasm’ for the sport.
Joseph was presented with the prestigious Royal Yachting Association (RYA) trophy by HRH The Princess Royal yesterday at the London Boat Show.
In the nomination for the award Joseph’s examiner, RYA yachtmaster examiner Mark Todd, said: ‘Joseph is one of the best Yachtmaster candidates I have ever seen. He has a thorough knowledge of the technical aspects of sailing and a superb demonstration of sailing skills on the water.
‘What I admired about Joseph’s style was that during the exam not only did he sail to the highest standards but his enthusiasm and sheer enjoyment of sailing shone through.

‘His confident and safe style made me relax and his love of sailing made him someone you would want to sail with as well as feeling safe doing so.’

Speaking after the presentation Joseph said: ‘It was an immense privilege, a massive validation of all the hard work and hard sailing that’s gone in, a lot of dedication but also a lot of fun.

‘The more you learn, the more you enjoy…it’s hugely social and it’s an environment in which you’ve always got something to learn.’

From city banking to sailing

Joseph’s day job in the city, managing the execution and clearing strategy for Deutsche Bank’s OTC derivative business, is a far cry from the sea, but he has a real passion for sailing. He first sailed a yacht in 2009 and was quickly bitten by RORC offshore racing after a cold, wet, bumpy ride to Cherbourg.
He completed the Caribbean 600 on Hydrocarbon (Bénéteau First 50) and a Fastnet campaign as bowman on Quokka 8 (Grand Soleil 43) in 2011. He has also participated in several Hamble Winter and Spring Series campaigns as a bowman, with a couple of trophies to show for it.
Joseph also enjoys cruising and skippering, and having learnt about the importance of getting the tides right as a day skipper by sitting in a force 6 off Dungeness for six hours in a 32′ displacement yacht, he passed the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore in 2013 after training with Stormforce Coaching in the Solent.
He is an Acting Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserves, attached to HMS President where he is the Unit Sailing Officer, organising activities like Day Skipper theory courses, acquaint weekends in the Solent and more ambitious expeditions to the Baltic and the Caribbean. Future plans include a Fastnet campaign with a team of Reservists.
Richard Falk, RYA training manager, added: ‘The calibre of candidates for this year’s award was extremely high but Joseph’s knowledge and skill combined with his clear passion for sailing and the desire to spark that same passion in others shone through.’

Candidates for the 2013 RYA Yachtmaster award were entered by the RYA’s worldwide team of Yachtmaster examiners. The RYA Yachtmaster of the Year trophy was donated by the Royal Institute of Navigation.