New leadership for superyacht racing

Published on March 5th, 2024

Shirley Robertson

The Super Yacht Racing Association (SYRA) has appointed Shirley Robertson as the new Manager of the organization for 100+ foot yachts. Robertson OBE made history by becoming the first British woman to win Olympic Gold Medals at consecutive Olympic Games and has become one of the most recognizable faces in the sport of sailing.

“We are delighted to have Shirley assume the role of Manager of the SYRA, taking the lead of an organization that is essential to superyacht racing,” said SYRA Chairperson Kate Branagh.

“The last decade saw many crucial areas addressed to enhance safe sailing and fair racing in this unique segment of sailboat racing. The SYRA’s priorities have shifted in recent years to fleet building, achieving more broad-based participation and expanding membership in the association, areas that Shirley will excel in.”

For fifteen years Robertson was the face of sailing as the host of CNN International’s flagship sports series CNN Mainsail, she has been the BBC’s lead anchor from four Olympic Games sailing venues, and has presented coverage from multiple regattas at the very pinnacle of yacht racing, the America’s Cup.

In addition, Robertson also hosts the long running Shirley Robertson’s Sailing Podcast, a monthly podcast featuring interviews with the biggest names in the sport of sailing.

Most recently on the water, Robertson has been managing a two-boat 6m campaign, but also spent two seasons competing on the doublehanded offshore circuit. Her sailing career has also seen over fifteen years of racing on the superyacht circuit, taking in some of the sport’s most prestigious regattas.

“Yacht racing is a life long passion of mine, and the superyacht series has been one of our sport’s shining lights for some time,” noted Robertson. “My relationship with racing superyachts goes back to my time racing with the SYRA founders Ed Dubois and Barry Houghton and it’s wonderful to now be carrying on their original vision.

“Expanding on the excellent work already done by the team at the SYRA while helping grow our membership at this exciting time in our sport is something I am really looking forward to.”

Robertson will take up this part-time role with immediate effect to advance and grow superyacht racing. Representing the collective voice for racing superyachts, regatta organizers and the industry, she will draw on her talents as a communicator as well as her experiences in team building and hosting conferences and exhibitions.


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