The Cruising Association has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive

The Cruising Association has announced the appointment of Mark Wakelin as its new Chief Executive. He will take up his post in May 2004 on the retirement of Lorna Hammett, who has been General Secretary at CA for the last 16 years.

Mark, 49, was born at Heybridge Basin on the Blackwater and started his sailing as a boy in smacks and sailing barges. After school at Woodbridge he studied Law at Southampton University and then spent several years doing boat deliveries, skippering small coasters and running a ferry service in the Inner Hebrides. He went on to do a spell as a Lloyds Broker, placing yacht insurances, before completing his legal training and practising marine law as a solicitor in the City.

Five years as Harbour Master at Padstow, Cornwall, where he was instrumental in the rejuvenation of the harbour, was followed by managing Port Edgar Marina on the Firth of Forth. For the past twelve years Mark has been Chief Navigation Officer of the Broads Authority, coping with the varied boating affairs of the Norfolk Broads.

Mark has owned a succession of different boats including former RNLI lifeboats and professes enthusiasm for gaff rig. His current boat is the steel MFV Corydalis which was built for the late Stewart Platt, a former President of the CA.

Mark said, “I have been aware of the CA since I was a small boy and I am delighted and very honoured to be joining the organisation. Small boat cruising has given me immense satisfaction and fun over the years and I can think of no more worthwhile challenge than to promote the Cruising Association and cruising in general. I am really looking forward to meeting the members at CA House and around the country in the sections.”