Our Crew

You're in safe hands with our experienced, professional staff. Whether you are trying sailing for the first time or aiming for your Yachtmaster examination, we can help plan activities that work for you. We put your learning at the heart of all our work, offering you quality skippering and instructing that leaves a lasting impression.

Ariadne Bechthold

Day Skipper, Sea Survival, First Aid, Company Director

An accomplished broadcaster and film maker, Ariadne is the co-founder of Afghan Voice CIC, a community media organisation based in London that works with minority ethnic community groups. She has used her skills to capture many of our events on camera. She has a background in event management and catering.

Ben Gillett

Yachtmaster Instructor, Commercial Skipper, Sea Survival, First Aid, VHF Operator, Company Director

Ben grew up windsurfing & racing dinghies in Chichester harbour. During a career as a health service manager he became involved in cruising and gained his Yachtmaster qualification. In 2008 he ran away to sea, volunteering & working in the UK sail training industry, skippering a 95ft gaff ketch for a charity based in Devon. Now back home near Chichester, he works as a freelance sailing instructor & commercial skipper and is RYA Chief Instructor of our Chichester base.

Bruno Brown

Cruising Instructor, Commercial Skipper, Sea Survival, First Aid, VHF Operator

Following 22 years in the RAF as a Technician, Bruno has combined his love of flying with his love of the sea to become a senior gliding instructor as well as a sailing instructor. His enthusiasm for teaching shines through, giving his students the confidence to progress quickly towards their aims.

Dhara Thompson

Yachtmaster Instructor, Commercial Skipper, Sea Survival, First Aid, VHF Operator, Company Director

Before training as a sailing instructor, Dhara lived on and maintained boats for over 20 years. In that time he has been a community development worker supporting numerous projects and is keen to make learning accessible to everyone. He is a co-founder of Sail Boat Project. As well as instructing he finds and engages with groups interested in our activities. Dhara is RYA Principal of our Chichester base.

Geoff Sheridan

Coastal Yachtmaster, Sea Survival, First Aid, VHF Operator, Company Director

Geoff has always loved boats. He grew up sailing dinghies and steering canal boats, then discovered yachts later in life. A whole new world of knowledge and adventure opened up, along with an ambition to share his passion and excitement for coastal sailing with others. He loves racing dinghies in Seaford bay and sailing with his small children. In his spare time, he runs a graphic design company, plays jazz trumpet, reads books about sailing and dreams of adventure on the high seas.

Jacquie Dowding

Commercial Skipper, Sea Survival, First Aid, VHF Operator, Company Director

Jacquie has been around boats and boating most of her life. She loves the idea that sailing gives you a sense of freedom and peace, even in stormy weather - what can you do, anyway, but go with it? She has raced, sailed from Scandinavia, the Atlantic and coastal Pacific Ocean and along Central America. She has a passion for the environment and skippering allows her to mix her passions in one boat! Also a part time English teacher, she lives aboard her own sailing boat in Brighton. Jacquie leads on our recovery sails.

Jason Ralph

Yachtmaster Instructor, Powerboat Instructor, Commercial Skipper, Sea Survival, First Aid, VHF Operator

An accomplished sailor for decades now, Jason learnt to sail in Chichester harbour before skippering tall ships across the world's oceans as a young man. His wealth of seafaring experience makes for a relaxed teacher who is keen to share his knowledge with others. A keen carpenter and boat builder he has combined these skills to produce his own small fleet of model boats to help aspiring sailors learn.

Steve Hartley

Cruising Instructor, Commercial Skipper, Sea Survival, First Aid, VHF Operator

Steve started sailing over 40 years ago, when he first went aloft aboard the Sea Cadets' brig TS Royalist. Since then he dabbled at sailing for many years before starting to take it all more seriously a few years ago. He recently qualified as a Cruising Instructor and is enjoying teaching RYA courses. When he's not doing that though he runs sailing trips to a variety of destinations at home and abroad, or spends time relaxing in the garden at home. Steve spent most of his working life in IT, and latterly spent a few years as a manager of a medical centre. He's now given it all up though to find out what "stress free" means, and can devote more time to things he likes doing. One of those is sailing of course, but away from the water he also has considerable experience in coaching football at all levels up to semi-pros, and with very successful results.