Constitution & Officers

AYRS was founded in 1955 and is dedicated to finding out how to make yachting better (faster, more fun, whatever you want it to be). From our members have come the modern sailing multihulls, self-steering gear, sailboards, a flock of successful sailing hydrofoils and the World Speed Sailing Record system. Membership is open to anyone interested in the improvement of yachts and equipment through research and development.

AYRS’ Constitution

Legally, AYRS is a UK company limited by guarantee – which means that in the event of it being bankrupted the members have a limited liability of GBP 1.00. It has two governing documents (like most UK companies)

These can be amended by a two-thirds majority vote at a General Meeting. They were last amended in 2020 to allow:
a) To shorten the period of notice required for AGM business to 31 days before the AGM date.
b) To permit the Committee to meet by video conferencing etc and to be quorate while so doing.
c) To permit the Society to give notice of general meetings by email and by posting business on the website instead of in the magazine or in letters.

The new Articles can be found by following this link here.

Charitable (Not-for-profit) Status

AYRS is also a UK registered Educational Charity, No 234081, with a formal objective of promoting the study of yacht science.

Who runs AYRS ?

Technically, AYRS is managed by a Board of Trustees, who we call the Officers and Committee. In addition to the President & Vice-Presidents, there are five Officers, and up to 12 ordinary Committee members. The Committee is empowered to co-opt extra advisers as it feels necessary.

The Officers serve for a two-year term, which is renewable, and are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting (two one year, and the rest the next). The ordinary Committee Members are similarly elected at the AGM, and can serve for up to three years. The longest-serving third stand down each year and are eligible for re-election if they so wish.

AYRS President & Vice-Presidents

President – Until his untimely death, our president was HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE QSO
    Dave Culp,
California, USA
    R Michael Ellison – Torpoint UK


with effect from January 2021

Chairman – John Perry
S Devon, UK.  Email:

Vice-Chairman – Jasper Graham-Jones

Honorary Treasurer & Membership Secretary – Mark Hillmann

Honorary Secretary, – Chris Ryan
London, UK; E-mail: 

Honorary Editor – Mike Howard
Merseyside, UK; E-mail:

Committee with effect from January 2021

The Officers, ex officio,

The Vice-Presidents (co-opted and ex-officio),

Ordinary Committee Members, of whom there may be 12.

  • Kim Fisher – Suffolk, UK
  • Tim Glover – London, UK.
  • Robert Downhill – E Sussex, UK.
  • Robert Beigler – Trondheim, Norway
  • Chris Gould – Ayrshire, Scotland, UK
  • George Dimsdale – Yukon, Canada
  • Marcus Lee – Surrey, UK
  • Mark Salvage – Gloucestershire, UK.
  • Graeme Ward – Surrey, UK.

Co-opted Adviser

  • Simon Fishwick – Norfolk, UK. As website administrator; email: webadmin @

Nominations for new Officers and Committee Members need to be in the hands of the Secretary one month before the AGM (which is usually held in January, in or close to London, UK).

Regional Organisers

AYRS also has a number of volunteers who organise meetings of the Society. Details of meetings will be found in the Events List


London & South-East UKvacant – Any volunteers please email: secretary @

South-West UKJohn Perry – S. Devon, UK. Tel: 01752 863730; Email: j_perry @

North-West UKVacant – Wirral, UK. Tel: 0151 531 6256; Email: ecotraction @ to find out who the new organiser is.

East AngliaKim Fisher – Ipswich, UK. Tel: 01473 625024; email: kim.fisher @

North America

New England GroupThis group needs an organiser to revive it

West CoastDavid Culp – Martinez, CA, E-mail: dave @


Switzerland Theo Schmidt – Steffisburg, Switzerland, Email: sus2006 @

Other Areas – In the first instance, please contact the AYRS Secretary,  E-mail:

Specialist Topic Co-ordinators

These assist members by providing expert advice. If information is wanted on a specific subject the appropriate co-ordinator may be a good person to ask first.

Multihulls – Mike Ellison (pro tem) – Devonport, UK. Email: rmellison @;

Human & Solar PowerTheo Schmidt – Steffisburg, Switzerland Email: sus2006 @

Sailing CanoesSimon Fishwick – Norfolk, UK; E-mail: fishwick @

HydrofoilsJoddy Chapman – Email: c/o office @;

InstrumentationJoddy Chapman – as above;

Speed RecordsMike Ellison (WSSRC Commissioner) – Devonport, UK. Email: rmellison @;

Kitesails & Inclined RigsDave Culp – California, USA. Email: dave @

Otherwise try emailing the AYRS Editor –

“AYRS” and the logo are copyright Amateur Yacht Research Society

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