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David Pougher and Ian Walker speak at MAA Press Lunch

by Zella Compton 18 May 2018 17:09 BST 18 May 2018
Ian Walker speaks at the MAA Press Lunch © MAA

Over 100 press and industry guests were entertained by a series of speakers including interim Managing Director of British Marine David Pougher, and RYA Director of Racing Ian Walker, at the seventh annual MAA Press Lunch.

The event, which took place on Friday 18th May 2018 in Gosport, is organised by Marine Advertising Agency (MAA) in conjunction with Dean & Reddyhoff owners of Haslar Marina. Guests included journalists, editors and over 70 leading industry names from across different marine sectors.

Addressing the news of the cancellation of the London Boat Show 2019, David Pougher talked about the real dilemma the organisation faced in having to say goodbye to the 2019 show and what the future holds.

"You have my assurance that we'll do everything to showcase our products and create shop windows to promote the industry," David said. "We've got lots to do but, collectively, we'll pull on one end of a rope together to make things better. Interest in Southampton Boat Show has already lifted. That's going to be even bigger and Southampton will be premier showcase for our industry."

Keynote speaker Ian Walker MBE spoke about taking up his new position as Director of Racing with the RYA and the learning process he is going through. "I had no idea how much sits behind the RYA, like selection policies, hiring coaches, and training coaches to name but a few. There is so much behind the end product. Plus, sailing is an incredibly complex sport and we need to think clearly about how we make everything we do relate to the person learning to sail. Sailing needs to remain affordable and accessible. I'm trying to make sure everything we do on racing side is in support of clubs, and class associations, and all the people who deliver the sport on the ground, especially as we have challenges in volunteering."

Ian talked further about sailing as a passion, stating: "The nicest thing about comparing my life from a year ago is that I can now sail for fun. It doesn't matter if I come first or last."

Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of, continued the theme of enjoyment. "One of the things we really have to do is make sure we are sharing that image of fun and that everything is about wanting people to get involved. We need to get people into a water sports lifestyle."

Fiona Pankhurst, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mercator Media, noted the potential of the forthcoming SEAWORK exhibition to showcase innovations and technology and encouraged all in the marine sector to think inventively about overlaps and how to make the most of opportunities.

As well as providing excellent opportunities for journalists to cement relationships with industry figures, the MAA Press Lunch brings together an exciting mix of businesses, with synergetic potential.

During pre-lunch networking, companies were able to showcase products and services with many companies using this as an opportunity to announce new products, including Sea Sure who launched the SHOCK-MIT.

Mike Shepherd set up MAA in 2009, since then the company has enjoyed continued strong growth. MAA was named Best Marine Company to Work For at the British Marine awards in March 2016 and is now firmly established as one of the foremost agencies in the marine industry.

Mike Shepherd, Director of MAA, says: "Once again our MAA Press Lunch has grown considerably, attracting top journalists, editors and leading industry names from across different marine sectors. This is the seventh year and attendance and feedback proves it is now well established on the industry calendar. I'm already looking forward to doing it again in 2019."

Michael Prideaux, Managing Director of Dean & Reddyhoff Marinas, said: "We're delighted to welcome so many industry leaders and marine journalists to Haslar Marina as we announce plans to redevelop, providing the facilities to support changing boating habits and the marine industry of the future. The opportunity to talk and listen is how we grow our business." MAA's range of services covers every aspect of marketing from advertising, PR, communications and media buying to brand development, websites, eCommerce, email campaigns and social media.

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