Patrons & Trustees


Royal Patron

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge

“I am delighted to be Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust. I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age and I know it is a great way of providing young people with the opportunity to develop skills and confidence. It is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the British Challenger bids to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain. I am looking forward to being part of this journey and I hope that through the 1851 Trust we can engage and inspire a new generation into sailing along the way.”


Sir Ben Ainslie CBE

“There’s such a diverse range of career opportunities for young people opting to take STEM subjects. We truly hope to inspire not just the next generation of America’s Cup sailors, but engineers and innovators alike.”


Dame Louise Makin (Chair)

Dame Louise was Chief Executive Officer of BTG plc and led the transformation of BTG into an international specialist healthcare company until its acquisition by Boston Scientific in August 2019. Dame Louise has held several charitable trustee positions and is currently a trustee at The Outward Bound Trust.

Lady Ainslie (Vice Chair)

Georgie Ainslie is a British broadcast journalist. She spent 10 years at Sky Sports News before moving to cover Sky Sports Formula 1 in 2013 and presented a daily sports talk show alongside Regis Philbin in New York. She is currently a guest presenter for Sky News and is on the board of Mission Media PR.

Roy Bedlow 

Roy Bedlow is Low Carbon’s Founder and Chief Executive. He is a founder member of the Carbon War Room: an international NGO and thought leader tasked with creating market-based solutions to climate change. Roy also sits on the Board of Andromeda Capital, a private equity firm investing in climate change and education, and the Board of Sparx, which is developing new technology to revolutionize learning.

Jeremy Boadle

Jeremy was managing partner and group finance director of Smith & Williamson from 2005 until his retirement in 2016 after 38 years at the firm. He was previously Head of Audit and Business Services and a specialist in financial services and property businesses, as well as serving charities and smaller businesses. He was also on the board of an international network of accounting firms from 2008 to 2016.

Rod Carr CBE

Rod joined the UK Sport Board in November 2005 and was Chair from April 2013 to 2017. He was Chief Executive of the Royal Yachting Association from December 2000 to February 2010. He was awarded an OBE in 2005, and in 2010 received a CBE.

Robert Elliott

Robert Elliott was elected as Chairman and Senior Partner of Linklaters, the global law firm, in 2011. He was previously Global Head of Banking and a specialist in Corporate Restructuring. He also leads Linklaters’ support for The Prince’s Trust, the charity which helps young people.

Paul Frew

For 15 years until 2014 Paul Frew was the managing partner of Elderstreet Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in the UK technology sector. Prior to that he had a successful career in the software industry.  Paul has served on a number of boards in both private and public companies.

Jo Grindley

Jo is the Head of Commercial, Marketing, Communications and Events for the Team. Jo worked alongside Ben for 13 years securing all his commercial funding through three Olympic campaigns. In 2011 the pair planned the strategy to set up a British America’s Cup team, to challenge for and win the trophy for Britain.

The Rt Hon Sir Richard Ottaway

Sir Richard is a political consultant to a number of organisations.  He is a former Conservative MP who chaired the All Party Parliamentary London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Group.  He was appointed to the Privy Council in 2013 and knighted in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list.  He now chairs Cowes Classic Week and is an adviser to the IAAF.

Claire Oulton

Claire spent 20 years as a Headteacher, 6 years at St Catherine’s, Bramley and then 14 years at Benenden until 2013. Claire now acts as a consultant for Twig (producing digital educational resources), for BXR (a private equity firm) and for RSAcademics (working in educational research and leadership). She sits on the Governing Bodies of several schools, and is also a trustee for the Royal Yacht Squadron charity.

Rob Stevens CB

Rob Stevens has enjoyed a successful career in business and the Royal Navy. He was formerly Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation (2006-2012), after retiring from the Royal Navy as a Rear Admiral in 2005. He was made Companion of the Order of Bath in 2001 and received the NATO Meritorious Medal in 2004.

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