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Speaker Biography

James Stevens

 James Stevens
James Stevens is chairman of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), a charity devoted to providing challenge and adventure at sea for young people, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

James qualified as a teacher and taught science in a secondary school for five years. He then pursued a maritime career becoming a Sail Training skipper taking groups of young people on one and two week voyages on a classic 70 foot yacht.

For 23 years he worked for the Royal Yachting Association becoming their Chief Examiner and Training Manager responsible for the qualifications and training of yachtsmen, dinghy sailors and powerboat users throughout the UK. Much of this work involved the standards and qualifications of Sail Training skippers and also instructors teaching sailing to children. He retired from the RYA in 2010 and now works as a maritime consultant.

He represented the interests of sailing and adventure activities for young people to the British Government on various committees and also chaired the Training Commission of the International Sailing Federation.

He has written 10 RYA books and is a regular columnist in the British yachting press. He is chairman on the RYA Yachtmaster Qualification Panel a joint Maritime and Coastguard/RYA committee which determines syllabi and conducts disciplinary hearings.
He is currently working on a project in Oman to teach Omani children to sail.

In 1996 he was awarded an honorary commission of Lt Cdr RNR for services to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines in small craft training. He is a Younger Brother of Trinity House.


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