Yachtsman of the Year Awards in doubt after sponsor goes bust

Published on December 15th, 2014

by Barry Pickthall
Nick Davis, who had entered a 3-year deal to sponsor the YJA Yachtsman of the Year Awards through his company Apollo Boats, has gone to ground without paying for last year’s bash won by The Reverend Bob Shepton and young sailor Natasha Lambert.

The defaulting entrepreneur has left a huge hole in the finances of the Yachting Journalists’s Association, organisers of the awards, and the annual lunch at Trinity House, where the winners are traditionally announced, may have to be cancelled this January unless a new sponsor can be found.

June Hamilton, Secretary of the YJA reports that Nick Davis, through his Enterprises and associated companies, maritime security specialist, GoAgt, the franchised Local Letter Box, and boatbuilders Apollo Boats Ltd – have all collapsed in spectacular fashion.

GoAgt has left hundreds of ex-military personnel based in the Middle and Far East unpaid with no way to get home. It was through his Cowes based company, Apollo Boats Ltd that Davis signed up to three years of sponsorship of the prestigious YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards but reneged on his contract without paying what he owed after receiving all the benefits of the first year.

The awards were founded by the late Sir Max Aitken, a wartime Spitfire pilot, highly skilled yachtsman in both sail and power and co-founder of the London International Boat Show which he sponsored through his Express Newspaper empire. Sir Max Aitken bequeathed the exquisite silver Yachtsman of the Year trophy to the YJA in 1979 so that the awards would continue after his death.

Previous sponsors of the Awards include Pantaenius Yacht Insurance, Raymarine, MDL Marinas, and British Telecom.

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