Solent Branch
Neil O'Connor

Neil O'Connor


Our first introduction to sailing was about ten years ago when we went for a corporate weekend sailing from Ocean Village to Cowes – and we were just about hooked from then on.  We tried an “Introduction to Sailing” weekend in pretty atrocious weather, and as that didn’t put us off we did the usual courses and chartered in the Solent and South Coast.

About seven years ago we took the plunge and bought M31 Sea’scape – our first and only boat.  It wasn’t long before the joys of maintaining a 1988 vintage yacht (and more frustratingly a 1988 vintage Volvo engine) led us to the MOA website and joining the MOA Solent Branch.  Since then we have been on lots of MOA rallies and made a number of friends.

In September last year we parted with our beloved Sea’scape and bought Shadow a M336 II. We are still getting used to her, but so far have been delighted with the extra space and turn of speed.

For me meeting fellow Moody owners on the rallies is one of the best  things about being in the MOA. We are very fortunate to sail in the Solent and the range of rallies we manage to put on each year reflects this.

June 2018.

Jon Bell

Jon Bell


Like many others, I was first introduced to sailing by some friends in a Mirror, whilst at school.  After joining the Forces, I was lucky enough to complete the RYA dinghy and cruising sailing certificates. And spent many happy years racing dinghy’s and skippering the Joint Services yachts both in the UK and in Cyprus.

The first boat we owned was a 1979 Dufour 2800CS (Mamselle), which still holds a special place in our hearts and can still be seen in Gosport!  This taught us the maintenance aspects of boat ownership which was all new to us.  After 5 years, we moved up to a 1989 Moody M31Mk2 (Meerkat) and we have just recently sold that and purchased Tigermoon a 1996 Moody S336.

We live in Andover and our boat is moored in Gosport.  I sail mostly with my wife (Lesley) and occasionally with my sons James and Stephen.  Our usual sailing area is the south cost with the occasional trips to North France and the Channel Islands.

November 2016

Jennifer Shepperd

Jennifer Shepperd


Growing up in Swansea close to the stunning Gower coast I’ve always loved the sea. It was not until I met my husband David, many years later that I started sailing. David was then a proud owner of a Contessa 26. I was very much a passenger to begin with but was keen to learn.
Our first boat together was a Westerly Griffin and I took a more active role in sailing her. We bought our first Moody ‘Calista’ an S31 in 2010. Shortly after I completed my Day Skipper on a Moody 42. It was May but the weather was pretty grim (force 7 most of the week!) but even that didn’t put me off! We joined the MOA and several months later accidentally went on our first rally to the Folly Inn on the Medina River. Since then we have attended many rallies and even organised a few.
Last spring we took possession of our current boat a 1999 Moody 36 ‘Magic Mood’. We hope to enjoy many more years sailing her, attending MOA rallies and meeting up with the great friends we have made since becoming members.

Feb 2018

Sue Fellowes-Freeman

Sue Fellowes-Freeman

Events Secretary

I have not sailed single-handed around the world. I am not a “Yachtmaster.”  I am ship’s crew to our Moody 346 “White Whisper.”

I was introduced to “boating” as a youngster by my cousins.  My job was to row the dinghy whilst they endeavoured to start the outboard engine. I think I did an awful lot more rowing than they did motoring! Then we moved to sailing a “Cadet,” “Heron,” and then “Enterprise.” All great fun, soon learning that sailing was anything but a “stay dry” activity.

It was many years later that I was re-united with sailing, with a family “boat share” this time in a much larger craft, discovering the delights of leisure sailing.

Since joining the MOA we have enjoyed countless events and now feel that I would like to play a little part in helping the association to continue to thrive and give enjoyment to all.

January 2017

Ian Bevington

Ian Bevington

Race Officer

I learnt to sail as a teenager in an Enterprise at Tamworth Sailing Club and soon after bought a Graduate. Having struggled to find a race crew that would tolerate me for more than a couple of weekends, I bought Laser 88645, still owned and sailed by me 34 years on!
My introduction to cruisers dates back to a Sunsail Beach Flotilla holiday in 2000. In 2002, we bought an 18ft Gem Micro trailer sailer, in 2004, a Hunter Ranger 245 moored on the River Dart, and in 2009, a Moody S3, now moored on the River Hamble.
My summer weekends are split between motorsport and sailing with my wife, Lorraine, and son, Jordan, on the Solent and beyond. We have enjoyed many sailing adventures with the MOA since 2010.
Simon Stevens

Simon Stevens

Committee Member

I learnt to sail with my Uncle in his Mirror Dinghy on the Norfolk Broads and then at school I joined the Navy Section of the CCF and I sailed a variety of dinghy’s in Portsmouth, Chatham and Plymouth.

A friend of mine also had an Enterprise Dinghy that we used to race on Ruislip Lido on a Sunday morning. But my first introduction to yachting was on a Flotilla sailing holiday in Greece 36 years ago when I became hooked. So in 1984 I joined the Discovery Sailing Project, a youth sail training charity, as an adult volunteer, and I eventually became a Commercial Yachtmaster. Since qualifying I have enjoyed 25 years as a volunteer skipper taking their 60’ ex Clipper Ventures yacht all around the UK, Northern Europe and up to Poland and back.

As a family we also went on many flotilla holidays in the Med and Caribbean. We were also in a yacht syndicate for 16 years. Initially we had a 31’ Westerly Longbow and then a 36’ Westerly Corsair. In 2010 we left the syndicate and bought our own yacht ‘Lady J’ a Moody 38CC. We then joined the MOA and have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Solent branch rallies and races.