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News - 28/04/17

New Commissioners join Cowes Harbour Board

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has today (Tuesday, 2nd May 2017) confirmed two new appointments to the Board of Cowes Harbour Commissioners, Nick Elderfield and Ra Hennessy, and the re-appointment of Andrew Cooper as a Commissioner. 

Following an openly advertised recruitment programme that resulted in 11 strong applications, a short-list of candidates were assessed with the aim of maintaining a balance of Board membership in terms of skills, experience, local knowledge, specialties and demographic. As a result, Islanders Nick Elderfield and Ra Hennessy have been appointed as Commissioners to the Cowes Harbour Board for a term of three years effective from 1st May 2017. In compliance with CHC’s governance process for reselection for a second term, it was also agreed that Andrew Cooper be reconfirmed to be appointed for a second term. 

CHC Chairman David Riley said: “The Commission’s overriding principle is to maintain a Board that is fit for the purpose of overseeing the running of the port of Cowes, as per guidelines set by the Department of Transport. On behalf of CHC, it is therefore my pleasure to welcome these two new Commissioners to Cowes Harbour, world renowned centre of yachting and maritime gateway to the Isle of Wight.”

Nick Elderfield, who lives in Cowes with his wife and young children, is Managing Director of a Southampton-based coastal and maritime consultancy firm, and a Chartered Engineer with over 15 years’ experience in the UK and abroad. He said: “As a Cowes resident and frequent user of the harbour for commuting and for leisure, I am keen to use my oceanography background and experience in business development to assist CHC with the running of the port, particularly with the ongoing development projects and the varied uses of the harbour.”

Ra Hennessy and her family share their time between Binstead and Cowes. Ra has 20 years’ experience in marketing and new product development and is currently in charge of marketing for the independent day and boarding school on the Island. She said:” I started visiting the Isle of Wight and sailing in Cowes in 2011, and was lucky enough to be able to move to the Island permanently in 2014. My family and I continue to enjoy being part of the sailing community in Cowes, and I look forward to utilising my marketing experience, gained from many diverse industries, for the benefit of Cowes Harbour.”

David Riley added: “I would like to pay tribute to outgoing Board member Howard Pearce, who has stood down after three years due to competing work commitments, for his diligent approach to his duties as a Commissioner.

“May I also take this opportunity to encourage all harbour users to attend our Annual Public Meeting, at 7pm on Thursday, 25th May at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes. Our full Board of Commissioners will be present and we look forward to seeing many of those with an interest in Cowes Harbour there on the night.”


Notes to Editors
Cowes Harbour is a Trust Port, which means it has no shareholders or other owners, but is managed for the benefit of its users, or ‘stakeholders’. The port is run by an independent Board of Commissioners, appointed through a public selection process, who give their time on a voluntary basis.

Cowes Harbour Commission’s main function is to be the Statutory Harbour Authority for Cowes and to undertake commercial marine activities so that it can be self-financing. As the Commission has no shareholders, any surplus funds raised through its activities are reinvested back into the harbour and its facilities, to the benefit of its harbour users, or ‘stakeholders’.

In line with good governance and to benefit from new ideas and attitudes, the Commission rotates Board membership regularly. Commissioners can only be reappointed by the Board for two three-year terms, after which, if they wish to stay on for a third and final term, they are required to participate in an open recruitment exercise.

Top photo: L-R: David Riley CHC Chairman, Ra Hennessy and Nick Elderfield – new Commissioners, Capt. Stuart McIntosh Cowes Harbour Master – at Town Quay, Cowes.