New RYA chief ran knees-ups for toffs

Sybaritic Sarah Treseder once ran ‘the world’s best parties’ for toffs in locations like Osborne House, Hampton Court and the Tower of London. She tippled champagne cocktails, nibbled canapes to die for and rubbed shoulders with Prince Charles, actor Pierce Brosnan and pop-star Sting.  Nice work if you can get it and the sort of work most people would hang onto until their gall stones grew big enough to use as binnacle iron-correcting spheres.

But not Sarah. Why on earth would she want to swap a party-hat for a sou-wester,a four-poster bed for a damp bunk and High Society for the High Seas?

Because she’s got salt water in her veins, that’s why and Yachting Monthly will be carrying a profile in the May issue.

Though when I went down to meet her at RYA House, the party animal was still in evidence. She strode across Rod Carr’s old office in knee-high, black leather boots, a striking, statuesque woman and said: ‘Let’s sit over here otherwise it’ll seem as though I’m interviewing you,’ and ushered me into comfortable chairs around a glass-topped table rather than talk across her CEO’s desk.

This is a woman with a first class brain who has held down some seriously well paid jobs in business and the media. She is warm, friendly, approachable and although not yet quite confident enough to dispense with the sound bites of her milieu: ‘I have a lot of background in marketing and brand strategy'(don’t get me started) this is not her normal code. Given time, this naturally articulate woman will drop such reflex-speak.

Because behind the spectacles her eyes twinkle mischieviously. This is a fun woman who will think outside the box when it comes to combatting Big Government, but she’ll do it with the good-humour, diplomacy and charm which has made her such a success in getting folks to party.

‘Is your partner blonde or did you have an assignation on the train?,’ she asked handing me my Crombie overcoat as I left, ‘because it’s certainly not one of mine,’ she added pointing out a long strand of blonde hair on the collar.

Rod Carr is a very hard act to follow, but Sarah Treseder is about to make the RYA her own show.