About AYRS

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 2001.

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 – HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE QSO
Dave Culp,
California, USA
R Michael Ellison – Torpoint UK


with effect from January 2018

Chairman – Fred Ball
Surrey, UK.  Email: fball@ayrs.org

Vice-Chairman – Kim Fisher
Email: office@ayrs.org

Treasurer – vacant
E-mail: treasurer@ayrs.org

Company Secretary, – Simon Fishwick
Norfolk, UK; E-mail: office@ayrs.org

Honorary Editor, Web Admin – Simon Fishwick
Norfolk, UK; E-mail: editor@ayrs.org

Committee with effect from January 2018

The Officers, ex officio,

The Vice-Presidents (also ex-officio),

Ordinary Committee Members, of whom there may be 12.

  • Robert Downhill – E Sussex, UK. E-mail: icaruswsr @ tiscali.co.uk
  • Tim Glover – London, UK; Email: glovers @ dircon.co.uk
  • John Perry – S. Devon, UK. Email: j_perry @ btinternet.com
  • Mark Tingley – Hertfordshire, UK.
  • Marcus Lee – Surrey, UK

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 fouind in the Events List


London & South-East UKFred Ball – Surrey, UK. Tel: +44 (1344) 843 690 Email: fball @ ayrs.org

South-West UKJohn Perry – S. Devon, UK. Tel: 01752863730; Email: j_perry @ btinternet.com

North-West UKMike Howard – Wirral, UK. Tel: 0151 531 6256; Email: ecotraction @ aol.com

East AngliaKim Fisher – See above

North America

New England GroupThis group needs an organiser to revive it

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


Switzerland Theo Schmidt – Steffisburg, Switzerland, Email: sus2006 @ bluewin.ch

Other Areas – In the first instance, please contact the AYRS Secretary,  E-mail: office@ayrs.org

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.

MultihullsFred Ball – Virginia Water, UK. Email: fball @ ayrs.org

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

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

HydrofoilsJoddy Chapman – Email: c/o office @ ayrs.org;

InstrumentationJoddy Chapman – as above;

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

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

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