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New Chairman for Yachting Journalists' Association

by Mike Ford 11 Jun 2018 09:50 BST
Cliff Webb, new Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association © Mike Ford

The Yachting Journalists' Association has a new Chairman at the helm, as Clifford Webb, head of a TV broadcast production company, takes over with the aim of leading the Association into a modern, thriving and forward looking organisation to meet the demands of rapidly developing publishing technologies.

Said Cliff: "We are determined that with a lot of help and support from everyone involved now we can pave the way for future generations in the business, whatever shape that future or business may take."

He was elected as new Chairman at the Association's annual meeting, held at the Naval Club in London's Mayfair on Wednesday. (June 6) to succeed Barry Pickthall, former Times and Sunday Times Yachting correspondent.

Presently founder and CEO of 1080 Media TV, an award winning broadcast production company established ten years, which is mid-production with the third edition of the successful 'The Race of Their Lives' TV series. This is seven one hour adventure documentaries about the people taking part in the 2017-18 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, and which has grown to reach a global audience over the past five years. The company also covers other sports of all types, and offers audio visual services to its international roster of clients.

The Yachting Journalists' Association has a long tradition of promoting leisure boating in all its forms, and is internationally recognised for its 'Yachtsman of the Year' award that dates back to 1955.

He said: "One of the goals we are actively targeting is an increase in membership, especially given the diverse nature in which 'media' is now created and consumed by everyone, through the extraordinary growth of social media in the past few years. The 'traditional' journalists and photographers that I have worked with for many years are still there, but the diversity and ease in being able to reach an eager audience nowadays is possible like never before in history.

"Anyone with a mobile phone can send an image, a video or a cleverly written 'tweet' to a global community, and while some may argue that the market is becoming diluted for our business through this, others have leapt at the opportunity and found a way to grow their income. The YJA has to move with the times too, and opening up membership to those working in sailing and the wider marine industry through PR, advertising and public information services, plus students of journalism was a hugely positive step that we want to encourage and rapidly grow now."

Cliff's earlier career included 12-years as a photo-journalist covering, among other sports, the windsurfing world tour as the official photographer, the same for Wembley Stadium and for other major sporting events. He then became the international media director for the Windsurf World Tour for a four year period before leaving to establish an events management and TV production company. This he ran for many successful years, which included covering all of the Rolex international sailing events as their official broadcast company, and the World Match Racing Tour as host broadcaster, where he was able to innovate with live coverage concepts. The company also covered countless other international events across all aspects of sailing, including the live 'in-house' coverage for BMW Oracle during the 2010 America's Cup in Valencia. He then moved on to help establish Team Korea, South Korea's first ever entry into the America's Cup where he took the role of Media Director.

He is married with two children in their late teens.

The full YJA Committee elected are Digby Fox (Vice-Chairman), John Roberson, Amanda Fisher, Mark Jardine, Dave Selby, Michael Ford (Hon Treasurer) and Chris English (Hon Secretary).

For full information visit www.yja.co.uk

Information on how to join the YJA can be found here.

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