We are very sad to receive the news from Germany that Marianne Stenz has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Our deepest condolences to her husband Wolfgang and family.
She will be fondly remembered by many sailors from around the world, particularly those who were part of the JESS programme from RFBYC.
Marianne's hospitality was amazing. She made so many sailors feel at home at her place in Alfeld, Germany. This was a key part of the journey for many teenage sailors, most were travelling overseas without their families for the first time.
Through meeting the late Huck Scott at 420 class regattas in the 80's, Wolfgang and Marianne became an important part of the JESS programme with RFBYC. They were the vital ingredient in Europe and began the experience with a real taste of living in Germany. They welcomed the sailors in to their home, shared local cooking and an opportunity to explore the surrounding villages.
Wolfgang assisted with the logistics of a team car, trailers and boats while Marianne provided a warm safe and fun place to stay with amazing home cooked meals. In earlier tours their friendly dog Benny was around to greet the teams and provide some entertainment too.
From 1988 to 2016 she touched the lives of at least 160 young sailors from RFBYC and she was a Distinguished Honorary Member of the Club.
Wonderful memories of Marianne's friendly nature and happy smile, may she rest in peace.
JESS sailors and friends have been invited to share their memories on social media. Here are some of the images: