Members Stories


Our final Crystal Jubilee interview is with our current Chairman, Hugh Epsom…. 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! 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. What were your roles […]


First a little history…. I have been around boats and water most of my life – since the age of 16 – be it water-skiing competitions, power boat racing, dinghy racing, windsurf racing, or cruiser racing. I started water skiing in 1966, leading to national competitions, and skied the English Channel twice, both ways. This led me in to power boat racing, both in the UK and European competitions. (Cowes-Torbay) Getting married put an end to weekends away with the team!!! Children arrived, so then I started sailing dinghies, first a GP14 with the family, and also a Laser. But, […]

Did This Happen?

Relative to the Diana Jarvis Crystal Jubilee interview, we thought that you might find this bit of CBYA history of interest… The Committee October 2020


Why did you join the CBYA? The opportunity to learn to sail nice yachts! Yes please? My waypoints to the CBYA included canoeing, Enterprises, Junks, windsurfers, metal assault boats, RIBs, and a lifetime passion for scuba diving. What was a memorable first experience of the CBYA? Leaving Moraira Marina at midnight as part of a fleet to sail to St Eulalia in Ibiza where we enjoyed wonderful hospitality and made real friends with local Spanish crews. It is possible that TrickyD was the last yacht to arrive (on more than one occasion), but we definitely did not resort to using […]


Why did you join the CBYA? Having owned a house in the area for 12 years and visited on a regular basis, we had decided that, with retirement from Saudi Arabia in April 2003, and permanent residence, selling up and having a new house built was a good idea!!  Retirement to a caravan on a building site was a little foolhardy, and although the end result was spectacular, we needed a life in the meantime. We had joined the Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers, but our first love was sailing. Enter Brenda Bates, out walking, who was also part of a […]


Why did you join the CBYA? Because we were interested in sailing on the Costa Blanca. We both enjoy sailing and wanted to meet other fellow sailors with the same passion – we were also looking for more opportunities to get out on the water with other people. What was a memorable first experience of the CBYA? Meeting a whole load of CBYA members on the Mundo Marino big catamaran when we had booked a party of family members. We had a private birthday party with our family, and boarded the Mundo Marino. Not having heard of the CBYA, we […]

Social Fun with the CBYA

The CBYA, and formally the CBBC, has always run some great social activities. Here is an example of a highly-successful, past “Last Night of the Proms” party! Maybe we should repeat the theme in 2021? The Social Team June 2020


As part of our CBYA Crystal Jubilee celebrations, each month we are going to hear from a member who has made a significant contribution to our club. This month we are are publishing some memories from Brenda Bates. My first introduction to sailing was in Mombasa in the 70s, when a friend whose husband was a sea captain took me out in her dinghy in the busy harbour. We sailed between huge ships, and I learnt the meaning of ´tacking´.  Then in the 80s in Port Dickson near Kuala Lumpur, I learned about ‘capsizing´! I was in a race, out on […]

Fun with the Costa Blanca Boat Club.

Further to Dr Ron’s recently-published interview , we thought that you might enjoy reading about some of the past activities of  CBBC members. The Committee May 2020

CBYA Crystal Jubilee – May Interview – Dr Ron Shanson

As part of our CBYA Crystal Jubilee celebrations, each month we are going to hear from a member who has made a significant contribution to our club. This month we are are publishing an interview with Dr Ron Shanson, founder of the Costa Blanca Yacht Association. 1) Dr Ron – tell us how it came about that you were instrumental in setting up the Spanish sailing club that has become the CBYA? In 1989 I set up a UK sailing club in Portsmouth called High Seas Sailing Club, which is still alive and sailing, and has 30 sailing vessels, both […]

CBYA Crystal Jubilee – April Interview – Rachel Garnham

As part of our CBYA Crystal Jubilee celebrations, each month we are going to hear from a member who has made a significant contribution to our club. This month we are are publishing an interview with our Honorary Member Rachel Garnham, who is currently our Membership Secretary, and Training Officer. Hello Rachel. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed! Can you tell me why you joined the CBYA? Sailing has been a life-long interest, and I needed a distraction… after a few years in Spain, I happened across the CBYA advert in the Costa Blanca News. So – to have […]

CBYA Crystal Jubilee – March Interview – Bob Gordon

As part of the CBYA Crystal Jubilee celebration, each month we are going to hear from a member who has made a significant contribution to our club. This month we are going to hear from Bob Gordon, this year’s winner of the prestigious Karlheinz Witte Trophy, awarded to him for setting up and successfully running the CBYA Dinghy Section (despite vandalism), and for his welcoming attitude towards all, enthusiastic involvement and long-term commitment,……. Hello Bob. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed! Can you tell me why you joined the CBYA? ….well just by accident ! I had been visiting […]

What’s Vicky up to now?

For those CBYA members who don’t know me, I left the Costa Blanca in January 2015 to follow my dream and sail the world as crew on a variety of boats.  Hugh has asked me to share my latest adventure with you. Captain Chris, a retired pilot, and his dear wife Pam, invited me to join them for this four-month adventure aboard their very comfortable motor cruiser, a 62ft Tollycraft. We will sail the entire inside passage from Olympia Washington to Skagway Alaska, and back (a journey of about 3000 nautical miles).

Sunny Spray Rides Again!

After their intrepid cruise around the Atlantic during 2015 – 2017, Helma & Bob Hermans have now started to think about doing a bit of sailing again! They have now completed the mast repair on their yacht S/Y Sunny Spray, which was damaged during their Atlantic cruise, and she is almost ready to go to sea once more.

Royal Clipper – the world’s largest fully rigged sailing ship!

Our Trip on THE LARGEST FULLY-RIGGED SAILING SHIP IN THE WORLD – Royal Clipper! Imagine this: gentle waves lapping rhythmically against a wind-driven hull, the scent of the salty sea spray on the freshening breeze, taut sails towering majestically overhead, a pod of young dolphins dancing in the bow wave of the azure waters– all against a backdrop of some of Europe’s most breath-taking coastlines. This was the lure of what was promised to be the voyage of a lifetime for Paul and Helen Nicholls.

CBYA Visit to the Isle of Wight 27th June – 1st July 2019

Julie Benneworth mooted the idea of this excursion and, together with CBYA Vice-Chairman Neil Robertson, and partner, Vicki Dryden-Wyatt, organised a super four-night CBYA trip to the Isle of Wight for the Round the Island Race. Eleven of us lodged at the Royal London Yacht Club, thanks to Neil/Vicki’s membership there. On the first day we had lunch at the RORC, and in the evening Neil/Vicki invited us to their lovely house for cocktails, together with some of their local friends, prior to all going for fish and chip dinner at the Island Sailing Club.

Water Under The Keel!

CBYA members may be interested in this book, “Water Under The Keel” – written by Jenny’s deceased husband, John. The book is available in print, and is also on Kindle. It covers his two years’ single-handing his 31ft yacht from the UK, via the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean, – where he first met Jenny in Martinique in 1981! Should be a good read!

The Adventures of Sunny Spray

Helma and Bob Hermans completed a two and a half year cruise around the Atlantic during 2017 in S/Y Sunny Spray, the yacht that they built themselves. Their route took them from Oliva, Spain, through the Strait of Gibraltar, via the Bay of Cadiz and the Guadalquivir; and to all but one of the Canary Islands. Then down south to Dakar, and further south to the Sine Saloum (a delta just north of Gambia), and across the Atlantic from the Saloum to French Guyana. They then cruised along the Central American coast, the Caribbean, the Windward Islands, and then recrossed […]

Izzy & Piers – Sicilian Cruise Blog

Izzy & Piers Armstrong enjoyed a cruise in Sicilian waters in June/July 2017. Click HERE to read their amusing report.  

A Cruise to Isla Cabrera

A Cruise to Isla Cabrera We departed Marina de Denia early on Wednesday 7 Sept on Tony and Julie Benneworth’s 60’ ketch, S/Y Royal Atenea, for a week’s cruise to Cabrera Island (south of Mallorca) and Ibiza. The rest of the crew comprised their UK-based friends, Jackie Carter and Iain Lorraine, Gillian and myself. On our departure, the wind was light, and on the nose, so we motor-sailed most of the way to Ibiza, arriving just before sunset at Cala Lunga, on the west side of the island. We spotted two pilot whales on the surface on the way over. […]


TRICKY ‘D’ – HAPPY DAYS IN THE IONIAN ISLANDS 2016.. A Big warm, special hello from TRICKY ‘D’ my crew and myself, to all my many friends in the CBYA and around the globe.   The first crew.

Crewing Opportunities Around the World.

If you are wanting to sail-travel-crew-skipper-and see the world. We suggest trying  ‘Crewseekers’.

Crossing the Atlantic

Our member – Keri Theophilus, Crossed the Atlantic Summer 2012 In the autumn of 2012 Keri helped a friend to deliver a New Beneteau 41 from France to Brazil. He has kindly agreed that we can reproduce his blogs here. I am sure you will find them interesting. First Blog      17th September – The Introduction Second Blog 23rd September – Preparations Third Blog      29th September – Ready for Departure Fourth Blog    4th October – Les Sables to Cascais, Portugal Fifth Bog       14th October – Arrived in TenerifeAtlantic Sixth Blog      4th October – Arrived in Cape Verd Seventh […]

ARC 2013. A 3000 Mile Trans-Atlantic Passage

Jeremy Symonds – Sails in the ARC 2013.  ‘A 3000 Mile Trans-Atlantic Passage’. Read his very interesting blog here.