Our final Crystal Jubilee interview is with our current Chairman, Hugh Epsom….

  1. Why did you join the CBYA?

We joined the CBYA soon after moving to Jávea in 2011 for two reasons – I enjoy sailing, and we wanted to get settled quickly into the local community. The CBYA allowed us to achieve both, and has brought Gillian and myself many hours of enjoyment!

  1. What was a memorable first experience of the CBYA?

Sailing with Jonathan Wilson on S/Y Maui in my first 5 Clubs Regatta in 2013 – we got on the podium! RIP Jonathan.

  1. What were your roles and how did they change over the years?
  • TOMs Co-ordinator (2013 – 2015)
  • Vice-Chairman (2015 – 2018)
  • Chairman (2018 – present)

  1. What achievements are you most proud of?
  • Helping Paul Smithard and Rachel Garnham get the TOMs sailing running, and also helping to improve our TOMs sailing and racing skills to the point that we can now actually win a few RCNC Regattas! Assisting Chris de Boer and Richard Evett in getting the TOMs Ladder up and running, and arranging fancy-dress TOMs sailing on El Día de Los Inocentes.

  • Helping Bob Gordon recover the Dinghy Section after vandalism of our boats.

Helping Tanya and Peter English organise the first CBYA Charter Holidays in Croatia during 2018, and successfully renegotiating the balance of payment for our 2020 Cyclades Charter in Greece to next year….COVID-willing!

  • Helping Karlheinz Witte introduce the monthly day charters. RIP Karlheinz. Now efficiently managed by Graham Hustler.

  • Facilitating LOTS of fun social events!!! Some examples…..

CBYA Round-the-Island Race trip organised by Julie Benneworth, Neil Robertson & Vicki Dryden Wyatt, and hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club.

Several trips to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, where we toured Azzam and Vestas, thanks to Tim Fawle.

Another great Xmas party at the Club Náutico Jávea organised by Peter English, Julie Benneworth & Sabine Olbrich, and the annual CBYA team entry to the Mirador Challenge, which we finally won! Well done the CBYA Machos!

  1. Give us an amusing anecdote…

Edo Volker, Bob Gordon and I participated in a week’s residential RYA Tidal Day Skipper course with Go-n-Sail in Ayemonte, near Huelva. Part of the training involved MOB practice with Bobette”, which was a white buoy tied to a sea-anchor (a bucket). Not so simple when sailing in a tidal river mouth. After many attempts, we all managed to slickly execute the recovery…even Edo!

  1. What are your hopes for the future of CBYA?

Hopefully, the current pandemic will diminish next year, and we will be able to start to enjoy the full potential of our organisation once again. Sailing TOMs wearing a facemask is not much fun!

I would then like to see the CBYA become the must-join association for all boat owners on the Costa Blanca – this includes owners of all nationalities, and both sail and power boats.

Many thanks to Amanda Topson for organising these CBYA Crystal Jubilee interviews.

I wish you all a Merry, socially-distanced, Christmas!

Hugh