The Brian Black Memorial Award 2023 for marine environmental journalism is now open, and for the first time there are two £2,000 cash prizes up for grabs

The Yachting Monthly Brian Black Memorial Award 2023 sponsored by B&G is back. This time with a new video competition, alongside the well-established writing competition, each with £2,000 on offer for the best video story and best written story about marine environmental issues explored by sailing boat. The award also includes a donation of £1,500 to marine conservation charity, Sea-Changers.

The Brian Black Memorial Award was established in 2021 to commemorate Brian and Lesley Black who were trailblazing sailors, daring small-boat explorers and passionate story tellers. A film-maker and broadcaster, Brian used his boat to capture first-hand footage of melting glaciers to tell the story of global warming decades before it was in the public awareness.

The award aims to encourage other sailors to use their boats to share the stories of the places and wildlife they encounter on their voyages with the wider world. This year, the award is focusing on coastal biodiversity, its beauty and wonder, and the crisis it is facing.

Marine electronics company, B&G, is sponsoring the award for a third year in a row, but this time creating two separate prizes. As last year, there is a prize of £2,000 for the best 1,800-word article and accompanying images. New for 2023, there is also a prize of £2,000 for the best video of up to 10 minutes, and runners up prizes for two additional runners up in each category. The winning article and video, along with the runners up, will be published in Yachting Monthly, and on Yachting Monthly’s online channels.

The award also includes a donation of £1,500 to the marine conservation charity, Sea-Changers, which raises funds for grass-roots conservation projects around the UK coastline.

Yachting Monthly’s Brian Black Memorial Award, which celebrates the best storytelling in print and video about marine environmental issues as explored by sailing boat, is sponsored by marine electronics company B&G Navico.

Award guidance

  • The judges are looking for articles and videos that focus on coastal biodiversity and the threats faced by marine species.
  • Entries are invited from anyone who has recently used a sailing boat or sailing voyage to explore an environmental issue, or who has encountered environmental issues whilst sailing and has a story to tell.
  • There is no geographical limit to where the voyage should have been undertaken, but judges are looking for voyages close to home in the UK and Atlantic Europe in particular. A special mention will be made of the best article and video concerning high latitude sailing to reflect Brian and Lesley Black’s lifelong commitment to sailing in the Arctic and North Atlantic.
  • For the articles, the judges are looking for great stories told well and will focus primarily on the quality of the writing and should inform, educate and inspire the reader about a particular area and environmental issue. Articles should be illustrated with beautiful photography. Articles should be at least 1,600 words and no more than 1,800 words, and include a 100-word biography of the author.
  • Videos should communicate both the story of the voyage undertaken, and the threats to biodiversity witnessed. The judges are looking for compelling video with a clear story that is beautifully shot and well-edited. It should be at least 7 minutes but no more than 10 minutes in length.
  • By submitting an entry, you guarantee that you are the copyright holder, or have the written permission of the copyright holder, of the material submitted for publication in Yachting Monthly in print and across all of its online channels, including without limitation JW Player and YouTube. You further guarantee that the use of ​any music in an entry will not infringe the intellectual property or proprietary rights of any third party or contravene any applicable laws and will not give rise to any mechanical fees, royalties or other payments whatsoever becoming due to you or any other person or entity​.​
  • The closing date for this award is 23:59 on 6 August 2023.


The panel of judges includes:

  • Monty Halls – former Royal Marine, conservationist and television producer
  • Sophie Dingwall – BBMA Award winner 2021, writer, photographer and sailor
  • Mike Golding OBE – round the world race winner, multiple world champion
  • Dee Caffari MBE – six-time circumnavigator and Volvo Ocean Race skipper
  • Dr Robert Brown OBE – conservation expert and sailor
  • Sarah Brown – marine environmental professional and daughter of Brian and Lesley Black
  • The Yachting Monthly editorial team


The winning article entry and the winning video entry will each receive:

  • A cash prize of £2,000
  • A unique trophy to keep
  • Publication of their work in Yachting Monthly magazine/Yachting Monthly video channels and on
  • A presentation hosted by Yachting Monthly and the judging panel
  • The right to use the award logo
  • A single donation of £1,500 will be made to the marine conservation charity Sea-Changers.
  • The winner for this year’s award will be announced at the Southampton Boat Show on Friday 15 September 2023. All entrants are welcome to attend, but you will be notified at least one week prior to the event if you have won or are a runner up. Please keep this date free to attend in person if possible.

Entry criteria

  • By taking part, you agree to be bound by these terms and the Competition Rules:
  • Entries should be submitted by 23:59 BST on 6 August 2022 to:, with Brian Black Memorial Award 2022 in the subject line.
  • Entries are limited to one article and one video per person
  • The entry must be the original work of the author and not have been previously published.
  • The author must have participated in the voyage described in the article or video
  • Images and footage submitted need not have been taken solely by the author but they should be specific to the project or voyage, and the author must have written permission to submit the images for publication in print and online across all of Yachting Monthly’s and B&G’s channels.
  • Images and articles may be shared in their original context by supporting organisations and sponsors for the purpose of promoting the award.


  • Articles should be in electronic written format as Microsoft Word or Plain Text documents with no inserted images. Include a 100 word biography about yourself, your sailing background, and the boat you were sailing on.
  • Between 20 and 30 high resolution images (1MB or larger) only should be supplied via Dropbox, WeTransfer or GoogleDrive link and should be clearly labelled in the file name and with a list of images in the text document. As well as general images of people, places, and photos of the issues described, please include images of the boat sailed (taken during the voyage where possible), a head shot of the author, and a sketch chart of the route taken.
  • Entries should be between 1,600-1,800 words in length and articles above this length will not be considered.


  • Video must be submitted as an MP4 file of at least 1080 resolution for a 16:9 screen format
  • A transfer link should be emailed to, via Dropbox, WeTransfer or GoogleDrive of the original video file. A link to a web-hosted video will not be accepted
  • The email must also contain: a biography and headshot photo of the entrant, a title for the video, and a 200-word description of the video’s subject matter

Terms and conditions

By taking part, you agree to be bound by these terms and the Competition Rules: Entries must be submitted via email by 23:59 BST on 6 August 2023.

Late or incomplete entries, or entries which do not comply with the entry requirements, will be disqualified. Entries are limited to one per individual.

Open to anyone aged 16 and over, except employees of Future Publishing Limited (“Future”) and B&G Ltd (Navico) (“Sponsor”).

Entrants aged under 18 represent and warrant that a parent/guardian has consented to the entry and to these terms.

The winner will be selected by the judging panel in its sole discretion from all entries validly submitted.

Entries will be judged on the quality of writing and how the story informs, educates and inspires on the issues of climate change and biodiversity.
The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The winner will be notified by email at least 1 week prior to the award presentation at the Southampton Boat Show.

There will be one (1) winner for the print article prize and one (1) winner for the video prize. Each winner is entitled to (i) a £2,000 cash prize (or local currency equivalent), (ii) a £1,500 donation to marine conservation charity Sea-Changers, (iii) a unique trophy to keep, (iv) the publication of their winning entry in the November 2023 issue of Yachting Monthly magazine and on the website, (v) the right to use the official award logo, and (vi) a goodie bag from B&G.

Any US resident winning $600 or more worth of prizes from a Sponsor in a calendar year will receive an IRS form 1099 after the end of the calendar year in which the prizes were awarded, and a copy of such form will be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The value of the prize may be taxable as income and each prize winner is solely responsible for any taxes, including, but not limited to all applicable federal, state, and local taxes that become due with respect to the value of the prize.

Sponsor (or a third party acting on its behalf) must report the value of the prize to the IRS in the year the prize is received by the prize winner and will report the prize winner to the IRS.
Prize(s) will not be fulfilled where prohibited or restricted by law.

The prize is non-transferable and non-refundable. There is no cash alternative.

Up to two runners up will be selected and will receive (i) a goodie bag from B&G and (ii) publication of their article in Yachting Monthly at a later date and on the website.

You retain all rights you have in the copyright and other intellectual property rights comprising your entry but, by entering the Competition, you grant Future, its licensees and the Sponsor, the right free of charge to republish your entry in any medium or format.

By entering this competition you acknowledge and agree that Future shall have no liability for any loss, damage or injury suffered by you or others (i) during the process of submitting your entry, and/or (ii) while travelling to and from the Southampton Boat Show (if you choose to attend).

You also warrant that your entry is entirely your own work and will not infringe any third party intellectual property rights, and that Future shall have no liability as a result of any actual or threatened claim that your entry infringes third party intellectual property rights.

In association with B&G

Yachting Monthly’s Brian Black Memorial Award, which celebrates the best writing about marine environmental issues as explored by sailing boat, is sponsored by marine electronics company B&G Navico.