A brief history of Brighton Marina Yacht Club, Jack Voss and Priscilla.
The history of Brighton Marina Yacht Club, Jack Voss and the ‘Committee Boat’, a Mitchell 35, have been intertwined over many years.
It was in 1979 on invitation from Peter Blackburn, MD of Brighton Marina Company, that Jack Voss, then Commodore of Newhaven Sailing Club, formed a new yacht club within Brighton Marina for members to enjoy racing – Brighton Marina Yacht Club (BMYC) was born and has held a strong yacht racing pedigree ever since.
Jack was a past Waterman on the River Thames following in the footsteps of his 300-year family tradition of Watermen. Later in his business life Jack became MD of Lowenbrau UK where he was employed for many successful years until his retirement.
Jack Voss was the first Commodore of BMYC, the first President and went on to become the first Admiral, continuing in this position until the present day, a record not achieved by many.
On forming BMYC Jack placed a buoy at the entrance of Brighton Marina resembling a beer bottle – the buoy became known affectionately as ‘the larger buoy’ recognising sponsorship of Lowenbrau.
Stepping-back in time – the BMYC ‘Committee Boat’, was first laid down a year earlier in 1978 at Mitchell’s Yard, West Quay, Newhaven.
She was was purchased by Peter de Savary and converted to a tow launch for the specific purpose of towing the America’s Cup challenge yacht GB3 to and from Brighton Marina. This role was curtailed by the unfortunate breakage of the main mast on GB3.
The next chapter of history saw purchase from the America’s Cup team by Charles Wilson, then Commodore of BMYC; Charles renamed her after his wife Priscilla.
Priscilla, although privately owned, was frequently seen at the BMYC race area as Race Control Vessel.
On the death of Charlie Wilson, Jack Voss purchased Priscilla from Charles’ estate and continued to deploy his flag on her on the race start line most Sundays.
More recently BMYC were honoured by the gift of Priscilla to the club, Priscilla officially became the BMYC ‘Committee Boat’ whereupon a £10,000 budget from the board was setup to substantially refurbish Priscilla at a commercial yard.
On completion of the refurbishment, to mark the relaunch, it was decided to re-name Priscilla in honour of our long serving Admiral – the new name of the BMYC ‘Committee Boat’ will appropriately be ‘MV Admiral Jack’.
In 2019 MV Admiral Jack returned to dry-dock to undergo refurbishment of the cockpit floor and supporting structure; the work was led by BMYC Bosun Steve Trigwell and undertaken by a small team of dedicated BMYC Members