Commodore Peter Wykeham-Martin

Peter Wykeham-Martin

Joined the Royal navy in 1966 and retired in 2000 as a Commodore after a 34 year career.  During his career he served in a variety of ships from minesweepers to assault ships, including 3 deployments to the Far East.  He had a 2½ appointment on exchange with the US Navy in San Diego responsible for the logistic support of 7 US aircraft carriers and was British Defence Adviser in Australia from 1995-98.

His sailing career started at the age of 6.  He has completed numerous ocean races including 4 Fastnet races, the Sydney to Hobart race and the San Diego to Manzanillo race.  He was navigator of the Royal Navy’s Adventure in the first Whitbread Round the World race from Portsmouth to Capetown. He qualified as an Ocean Yachtmaster in 1973.  He still races his own yacht, and cruises with his wife around the N French coast.

On leaving the Royal Navy, he was CEO of the Royal Ocean Racing Club for 7 years, responsible for organising offshore sailing, including the Admiral’s Cup and Fastnet race.  He is managing partner of a company organising regattas overseas which have included the Superyacht Cup, Antigua Race Week, Oyster and Frers Yachts events, Muscat Regatta and Dubai to Muscat race.  He is Chairman of the International IRC Yacht Rating rule covering over 7000 yachts in 37 countries and is a yacht measurer and safety inspector.  He is also Chairman of the Friends of the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth and HMS VICTORY, and is also Commodore of Hornet Services Sailing Club.He has reviewed books on naval history for some 20 years. He is a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Ocean Racing Club and a Life Vice Commodore of the Royal Naval Sailing Association.

Ocean Yachtmaster, Royal Navy

Cruise ship lectures – outline synopses

Whitbread Round the World race 1973 – 12 Fastnets rolled into one - illustrated

Selection of crew for first Round the World Race.Navigator and bowman of Adventure for first leg from Portsmouth to Capetown (41 days at sea) – won by over 2 days.

Cruising and racing yacht stories – illustrated

Impact of racing developments on cruising.Changes in sailing /boats over last 50 years.Friendly rivalry between cruising and racing sailors.Tales of sailing.

Cowes and Royal Yacht Clubs – illustrated

As member of Royal Yacht Squadron (for over 25 years) and Royal Ocean Racing Club (over 45 years) a look at the yacht clubs, their history and tales of members and Cowes.

Life on board HMS VICTORY and with Admiral Lord Nelson - illustrated

Appointment as EA to Commander In Chief whose flagship was HMS Victory meant I have had privilege of dining in Nelson’s cabin on many occasions.  As Chairman of Friends of the National Museum of the RN and HMS Victory I have many stories of the ship and what life was like for her crew, and those who served under Nelson.

The eve of Trafalgar – illustrated

The build up to the battle of Trafalgar with eye witness accounts of the preparations on board Nelson’s flagship HMS VICTORY.

The Virgin Sailor - illustrated

Life as a 18 year Midshipman in the Far East in a WWII vintage destroyer conversion including service in Hong Kong in the Mao Red Guard riots and Singapore.  Passage back to UK including Mombassa (colonial Kenya) and Capetown (in apartheid era).Painting rum store, loss of rum store keys. Inspections

9 months in Malta minesweeper.  Sea on Tuesday and Thursday except when it was rough.Assistance at Sicily earthquakes.Living in flat in Strait St.

Life in the Far Eastin the 1960s and 1970s - illustrated

Alternative to Virgin Sailor.Service in Far East in 1960s and 2 deployments in 1970s culminating in last days of RN in Singapore.

A lImey in USN Khaki – illustrated

Over 2 years on exchange Service with USN based in San Diego in early 1980s looking after the air groups of 7 USN aircraft carriers.  Cultural (!) and service differences.Experiences during Falklands War (not fighting!) and US invasion of Grenada


A Pom in Oz – illustrated

Over 4 years service in Australia.  I year at senior service course followed by over 3 years as British Defence Adviser based in British High Commission in Canberra. Study tours of the Far East, participation in the Sydney to Hobart race.