New leadership for the Yachting Journalists' Association (YJA) as Katy Stickland is appointed Chairman.

Practical Boat Owner (PBO) editor Katy Stickland has added another feather to her cap – as the new leader of the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA).

After six years serving the YJA as chairman and vice-chairman, Cliff Webb and Mark Jardine have handed over the ‘helm’ during the annual general meeting (AGM) held on 4 June, at the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London.

This is part of a planned change of management over recent months, with Katy taking over as chairman, and Lou Johnson who owns Box PR, the vice-chairman role.

As the founder and chief executive officer of 1080 Media TV, Cliff is heavily involved in producing live television (TV) and streaming of events, plus TV programming of a variety of sports around the world including the World Match Racing Tour.

Cliff, whose tenure marked the longest continuous position as chairman in the YJA’s history, said: “Mark and I feel we have taken this as far as our time now allows, given how busy we have both become recently with our respective companies. I think we can look back with some satisfaction at what has been achieved in terms of stabilising the YJA financially, and setting a new path for the association to move forward on.

“We had some tough decisions to make with significant restructuring initially, but also with some success in sponsorship of the YJA awards, and building a larger membership base, particularly expanding international membership and interest.

“It has been a real pleasure working with everyone who has been involved with the YJA committee in recent years, and who contributed their ideas, time and enthusiasm, particularly Mark, who has always been there to help and support everyone, a real fountain of knowledge and experience.

“However, I have not been able to personally devote as much time as I would have liked in the past year, so I’m delighted that Katy and Lou are prepared to take on these roles now, as I am confident they bring a new approach and passion to continue to build and expand interest in the YJA.’’

“Excited about developing plans”

As editor of PBO, launched in 1967, and now owned by the publishing company, Future PLC, Katy is well-established in the boating world.

On her appointment to the YJA, she said: ‘’I am looking forward to building on the years of hard work by Cliff, Mark and the rest of the committee, who have all done an exceptional job. The membership is the association’s biggest strength, and I am excited about developing plans so it continues to grow, offering new opportunities and focusing on supporting and nurturing those who want to work in our industry.”

Lou Johnson, Vice-Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association

Lou Johnson who owns Box PR, is now the vice-chairman of the Yachting Journalists’ Association

Mark Jardine, managing editor of and, added: “Lou has been superb since she joined the YJA Committee, bringing her PR knowledge and experience, plus her depth of contacts in the sport to great use for the YJA. She and Katy are going to be a formidable team and it will be exciting being a part of YJA development under their leadership. Katy has driven PBO forward since becoming editor there, and I know she will do the same for the YJA now. Exciting times lay ahead!’’

Continues below…

Both Cliff and Mark will remain on the YJA committee to support the new initiatives planned, and Cliff will also continue managing finances as YJA treasurer.

Other appointments at the AGM include public relations expert Nicola Elam taking on the role of secretary to focus on further streamlining administrative areas of the YJA, and social media guru Emma York appointed as Communications lead, both of whom will be working with Niklas Salzmann-Webb who remains as administrative manager.

YJA stalwart Chris English, a former chairman and secretary was unanimously reappointed as honorary president. All other committee members remain in place, with thanks to Nick Jeffrey, Amanda Fisher, Monica Diaz and Sue Terpilowski. New committee members are also invited to join.

What is the YJA?

The YJA Yachtsman of the Year trophy

The YJA Yachtsman of the Year trophy

The aim of the YJA is to promote greater awareness of all aspects of leisure boating through the professional services offered by its members. The association represents hundreds of specialist marine journalists, photographers, TV and radio presenters and Web editors across all the major sailing and boating regions in the world.

Plans are evolving for the YJA’s awards this year, including the Young Journalist of the Year, the Young Sailor of the Year and, of course, the famous Yachtsman of the Year. Announcements to come in due course.

Find out more about the YJA at