Class of August 2019
From a very young age, Charles’ love of water came from visits to the lakes on the River Shannon. He spent his youth sailing fireballs and helping to tend to the boats belonging to other lake users. Charles has worked in the field of health & safety, after several years as an asbestos surveyor and analyst working across London and the South East. He hopes to enter the industry, specialising in building wooden boats.
Drew is the youngest member of the class, having just finished sitting his GCSEs last summer. Though young in age, Drew is by no means less experienced than his peers: he is a member of the GBR 420 squad and is a recently qualified lifeguard. He hopes to utilise the training to become a professional sailor.
Ed is from Somerset and has spent the last nine months at sea in the Caribbean as a deck hand.
Iain was born in Scotland and grew up in Brazil. When he was 11, the family returned to the UK, initially to the South Coast, eventually settling in Falmouth, Cornwall. He learnt to sail in Christchurch and maintained a love of the sea ever since. His first experience of the Academy was through a series of boat building short courses attended a few years ago, since then Iain purchased his first block plane and it’s all gone from there!
Ian has a historic vested interest in boats through his great-grandfather, who established a boat building company on the Isle of Wight over a hundred years ago. Many of his designs can still be found around the Solent to this day. Before retiring from the civil service, Ian enjoyed a varied career across the armed forces, property management and has worked as a professional skipper and sailing instructor.
James is an adventurous chap: having sailed across extreme waters for expeditions to the Arctic and Greenland. During his working life, he has considerable experience in the field of horticulture as an organic vegetable grower. He has managed gardens for both private clients and national companies.
James has spent most of his working life in the technical and photographic industries, progressing to a product specialist and trainer for Canon UK. After growing tired of the corporate environment, he had a sudden realisation that this wasn’t what we wanted to do for a living anymore. A series of life-changing events led James to turn to one of his great passions: all things to do with boats. James has owned various boats over the years but found that he was often frustrated with his own lack of woodworking skills, he enrolled on the 40 week course with the aim of working in the boat building or furniture making industry.
John has recently moved to nearby Charmouth with his family. He has spent most of his adult life in the Royal Air Force, working in a variety of senior roles. He has been around sailing dinghies and yachts since he was eight years old and has enjoyed racing and cruising throughout the years. As part of his background in engineering and logistics, he is keen to get involved with the practical side of the boat building process.
Luigi ‘Gino’ Pecora
Luigi, better known as Gino, is a music teacher originally from Switzerland who has enrolled on the course as a sabbatical. Luigi has travelled to the UK with his wife and their young son.
Michael came to us from County Donegal, on the coast of North Western Ireland. Over the years, Michael has attended a series of short courses at the Academy, he enjoyed them so much that he decided that the long course was right for him.
Miriam caught the boat building bug from her father and uncle, assisting in the builds of a Wharram Tiki 26 and a Sharpie sailboat. Following her graduation from the International Academy of Film and Television, Miriam has extensive experience in filmmaking in differing roles from writing, directing and in the sound department. An adventurous spirit – Miriam is a qualified diver and experienced sailor.
Peter is from Denmark and has worked aboard ships for most of his professional life. After finishing high school, he spent time aboard a training ship, earning his Ordinary Sailor papers. After a period working on supply ships, Peter spent the last two years as Quartermaster aboard the George Stage, a sail training ship originally built in 1934 in Frederikshavn, North Denmark. After the course, he would like a career as a boat builder.
Richard has spent the last 36 years in the oil and gas industry. During his career, Richard has held roles with Mobil Oil and BP. Now recently retired, Richard enrolled on the 40 week course to learn the key skills in boat restoration, having become a custodian of Vindilis, a boat built by celebrated yacht designer Dr Thomas Butler Harrison. Richard and his wife are active members of the Harrison Butler Association.
Steve is local to Dorset and worked for Dorset Fire & Rescue Service for thirty-two years until retiring in 2015. In his free time, Steve has sailed extensively and has competed in races and rallies across the globe. In 1997, Steve completed the Atlantic Rowing Race from Tenerife to Barbados.
Virgil is from Fribourg, Switzerland and has worked in construction and education. A keen outdoorsman, he enjoys keeping active and sailing recreationally.