Date: Wed 27 May 2015

North Yorkshire’s Coastal Commander

‘An official in charge of a harbour’ is how the dictionary defines a harbour master, but if you speak to Captain Ian Vasey you’ll quickly discover that there’s a bit more to it than that

Ian is the Borough Harbour Master for Whitby, Scarborough and Filey, a 30-mile stretch of the North Yorkshire coast, working for the Harbour Authority for more than a decade and playing a key role in the planning and management of this weekend’s P1 race event.

Born in Teesside and a much-travelled captain in the merchant navy with over sixteen years’ experience in command before becoming a harbour master, Ian manages teams based in Whitby and Scarborough totalling more than thirty staff. The two ports have mixed usage – commercial, fishing and leisure – which means that his responsibilities are varied and extensive: enforcing harbour regulations, managing the marina facilities, security, safety, dealing with visiting vessels (numbering over a 1,000 each year), environmental issues and with responsibility for conservancy, including managing the Authority’s own dredger .

One of the Harbour Master’s biggest challenges is infrastructure management, which includes regulating the use of harbour lands, generating revenue and events. For the P1 racing to take place in a busy bay and to close the West Pier, Ian secured ‘user support’ from local fishermen, yachtsmen and operators of passenger craft.

He has comforting words for the P1 racers who will be heading to Yorkshire later this week, saying that Scarborough’s South Bay is fairly well sheltered by the headland and unless the wind is from the east it won’t be a problem. Scarborough’s first ever Grand Prix of the Sea is in good hands.

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