The speakers of the Superyacht Design Symposium 2014 are detailed below:
Terence Disdale, Terence Disdale Design
Terence Disdale Design is one of the world’s leading companies specialising in yacht design. The company employs a team of 15 and was formed in 1973.
Prior to this Disdale worked as one of Jon Bannenberg’s two design assistants for a few years. His other experiences were in the hotel design industry and with shop fitting and joinery specialists.
In his forty years of experience Disdale has participated in the design and construction of more than a hundred yachts including fifty of these above the category of 45 meters and above. Seventeen of his projects have been completed above the category of 60 meters & he is the holder of thirty international design awards for his projects.
His forte is in creating the total design concept of the yacht from the water line upward. The design team develops the complete deck by deck planning, the superstructure lines, design and detail as well as the complete and totally bespoke interior.
Occasionally they have been invited to work on the interior of private aircraft and the houses of various clients where they have carried out extensive architectural work, landscape design and interior design.
Espen Øino, Espen Øino International
Espen Øino was graduated from the department of Naval Architecture and Engineering of Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. He started his professional career working for Martin Francis on the by now iconic Eco project. In 1994 he set out on his own and has since, together with his team of international co-workers been responsible for the design of many significant yachts such as Skat, Princess Mariana, Octopus, Kismet, Northern Star, Madsummer, Hermitage, Valerie, Serene and Stella Maris as well as the groundbreaking Silver series of high performance fuel efficient superyachts.
Espen Øino International is based in Monaco and is today considered one of the leading design studios for bespoke design of large motoryachts with a client base stretching from Japan in the far East through the Middle East, Russia and Europe to South and North America. The variety of designs reflects the diversity of its clients.
Martin Francis, Francis Design
Trained at the Central School of Art and Design, Martin worked as a cabinet maker throughout his early career before joining Architect Norman Foster in 1967 on a wide range of projects including the glass wall of the Willis Faber and Dumas building in Ipswich. He was a Director of Foster Associates in London and the Managing Director of Foster France for six years, working on Stansted Airport, the Tecno range of furniture and the Carre d’Art in Nimes.
In 1982 he joined Peter Rice in the creation of RFR, a Paris based engineering company established to design the glass facades of the Museum of Science and Technology in Paris. He was also responsible for assisting IM Pei in the design of the cable structure of the Louvre Pyramid using yacht rigging technology.
Martin’s nautical interest led him to develop his career as a yacht designer working on a number of large sailing boats. His first motor yacht was the iconic ECO followed by a number of innovative vessels including Senses, Golden Shadow, Sultan and more recently the 118 meter Yacht ‘A’ for which he was the Technical and Naval designer, a collaborative project with Philippe Starck.
In 2005 he was engaged by RCCL Celebrity Cruises to design the exterior of the Solstice class a series of five 120,000 GRT Cruise Ships.
For the last 20 years he has been working collaboratively with the American Artist Frank Stella on large sculptures and computer assisted art projects.
Martin’s current projects include a variety of Sculptures, Villas, a 123 meter motor yacht under construction at Lurssen, the technical development of a 14 meter Mercedes-Benz styled luxury yacht for Silver Arrows Marine and consultancy with Swarovski for the development of new surface products for interior design.
Tim Heywood, Tim Heywood Designs
With experience in the yacht design industry stretching back over 40 years, Tim Heywood has had the opportunities to produce some very well known designs. ‘Pelorus’ may be his most important ‘iconic’ project, but recent work, such as ‘Topaz’ and ‘Event’, have shown that his highly original lines, curves and sculptural forms, are still very much in demand.
THD moved out of London five years ago and set up their design studio in Rutland, in the middle of England, from where he, and partner Vanessa, dispatch designs to their current projects in Germany, Holland and the south of the UK.
Now using traditional drawing skills, together with computer technology, the end results of his work can be seen in the larger yacht marinas of the world.
Rémi Tessier, Rémi Tessier Design
Timeless architect, Rémi Tessier loves the audacity of perfection, the ultimate emotion of beauty and the ethereal feel that we call the “soul” of a place.
Spaces, justly, lie at the very heart of his work. Whether he is drawing the outlines or dressing them with his own furniture, Rémi Tessier dedicates his life to imagine pure and modern spaces where functionality remains harmoniously uncompromised by aesthetics.
As a cabinetmaker, trained by the “Compagnons du Devoir” for eight years, infatuated by materials and subtle proportions, the designer imagined, at first, the interiors of luxury boutiques before focusing on private developments. His insatiable curiosity naturally urged him towards new challenges, from private residences to interior design of both sailing and motor yachts. Self-taught, he learns the secrets of this blue ribbon vocabulary, demanding no limits, pushing techniques to the extreme, where each individual millimetre calls for reflection.
As soon as he took his first steps into the yachting world, Rémi Tessier was entrusted with designing the interiors for a handful of the world’s most spectacular yachts, earning him numerous international awards. Just a few years later, this man stands among the world’s most elite and decorated yacht designers. Yet, despite this success he has never undermined his original philosophy: ‘the client remains the guideline to every step’. In fact, Tessier’s designs are envisaged during his first client meetings, where he translates the clients’ personality to form a unique blue print in the space. The timeless elegance in each design is immersed in this personality, while the designer’s touch is profoundly implicit: in the details of a grand atrium, the precision of an elegant curvature or in the sophisticated accuracy of a mechanism, not dissimilar to the meticulous skills in watch making.
Based in Paris, Rémi Tessier now heads an international team of fifteen. These designers offer more than just their complementary skills and qualifications, for savoir-faire and client-tailored service are at the pinnacle of demand in his studio, which now, as well as yachts, develops large residences, private jets and exclusive hand-made haute couture furniture lines. Each project is completely unique to the one before, in order to guarantee aesthetes worldwide the satisfaction of a truly bespoke service.
Fiorenzo Spadoni, RINA
Fiorenzo Spadoni currently holds the position of Pleasure Vessels Sector Manager. He is in charge of all commercial activities and development of new services relevant to mega yachts and recreational crafts.
He graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Genova in 2001. After working for one year as a researcher in underwater robotics at University and few more years as designer of automatic plants for shipyards, he joined RINA as a surveyor in 2005.
From 2005 to 2008 he was assigned to the supervision of several cargo vessels in Turkey, gaining a significant on field experience in the marine sector.
His expertise as a marine surveyor has been strengthened from 2008 to 2010 in Holland and finally from 2010 to 2012 in Rouen where he has been appointed to establish the first RINA station in France and he was delivering a wide range of RINA services relevant to cargo, cruise vessels and yachts.
Greg Marshall, Gregory C. Marshall Naval Architect Ltd
Greg Marshall began designing yachts at the age of four, at the age of fifteen Greg’s father introduced him to Legendary Yacht Designer William Garden. Over the next nine years Greg was able to hone his skill and passion for designing Superyachts. As Bill Gardens started to slow his design office down Greg decided to Join Ed Fry at Fryco in Texas where he worked for the next eight years before starting his own company “Gregory C. Marshall Naval Architects Ltd” in 1994.
Together with business partner Gordon Galbraith, Greg has designed or participated in more than 400 yachts ranging from 7 meters to over 100 meters. Along the way they have won more than 30 international design awards including multiple awards in the categories of “Best Naval Architecture” , “Best Interior Design” ,“ Best Styling” and “Most innovative Yacht”. Some of the more notable projects include the Superyacht “BigFish” built by McMullen and Wing , “VvS1” built by Alloy Yachts, Westport 130, Westport 112, Calixas 105, Pacific Mariner 65 and 85.
Gregory C. Marshall N.A. Ltd’s design team consists of 16 specialized designers including Naval Architects, Marine Engineer’s, Structural Engineer’s ,Interior Designers and Industrial designers. Greg’s main focus is to design yachts that advance the industry as a whole. At the time of this writing, the design office has eight projects underway ranging from 32 meters to 70 meters.
Andrew Winch, Andrew Winch Designs
Andrew Winch has been in the specialist yacht design environment for over thirty years. Having grown up sailing on the south coast of England in dinghies and cruising yachts, his love of the sea embodies all of his work. Formal training at St Martins’ School of Art, London and Kingston College of Art laid the foundations for his career. This was followed by a year sailing as a crew member across the Atlantic and in the Caribbean on a private 52foot sailing yacht.
On his return he joined Jon Bannenberg Ltd as an apprentice designer. Here he learned his trade and went on to collaborate with Bannenberg on four major sailing yachts; Shirley B (80ft), Acharne (112ft Huisman), Garuda (102ft Nautor custom) and Starlight (94ft).
In 1986, Andrew launched “Andrew Winch Designs” with his wife Jane. Since its foundation, the studio has delivered 55 super yachts including both sailing and motor yacht projects – and has won over 30 prestigious awards from the leading awards bodies. With dedicated Exterior and Interior Yacht design departments and a highly experienced decorating team, AWD offers its clients a fully turnkey design package. Recent deliveries include M/Y Madame Gu (99m Feadship), M/Y Sea Owl (62m Feadship) and S/Y Inoui (33m Vitters).
Andrew places great importance on nurturing and developing the AWD team. Based in a converted fire station on the banks of the Thames in London, the AWD team of 50 people (who hail from all over the world) is today recognised as one of the leading International Design Studios.
Jonny Horsfield, Owner and Design Director, H2 Yacht Design
Jonny’s passion for anything automobile led him to completing his design studies at Coventry Polytechnic [Transport design] specialising in car design, but here he was introduced to the idea of transferring his styling skills into the world of yacht design. So in 1989 he joined Martin Francis during the exciting development period of the iconic motor yacht Eco. After this, he returned to London to spend four years with Donald Starkey Designs and here he concentrated on both exterior and interior design.
Jonny Horsfield established H2 yacht design in 1994 as a design consultancy specialising in both exterior and interior yacht design, initially to specialise in yacht refits , but new build projects followed, firstly with the interior design of 54m Talisman C . This led to over ten further new build yachts out of Turkey culminating in the Superyacht award winning 73m MY Vicky. He has recently launched a 73m and 83m in Germany and has two 120m + yachts under construction. Based in London, Jonny leads a multi disciplined team of young, creative designers, always encouraging them to find the limits of our complex industry.
Carla Rumler, Cultural Director of Swarovski
Carla Rumler is Cultural Director of Swarovski. When joining the company in 2000, she started as a Creative Director for Swarovski Optik, then moved on to the D. Swarovski Crystal Business where she was Creative Director for Corporate Communication. Part of her responsibilities were brand building events, working according to the mantra ‘Excellence in execution’. Several international exhibitions were creatively shaped and executed by her. In 2012, she became Cultural Director of the company.
Before working for one of the world’s most famous jewelry brands, Carla Rumler was a freelancer in art directing for several luxury fashion brands. At the same time she was the creative director of Tirol Werbung where she was responsible for the development of corporate identity, advertising materials and campaigns, art decoration and dramaturgy for big events etc. During her 10 years at Tirol Werbung, Carla Rumler won several national and international awards.
Further she is a freelance consultant in Interior Design and responsible for the creation of a premium linen textile collection.
Lorenzo Argento, Luca Brenta Yacht Design
Lorenzo, has been actively involved with sailing since the age of 12 having had first sailing experiences on Lake Garda. Lorenzo, a deep passionate into every aspect of design, graduated in Yacht & Boat Design at the Southampton College of Higher Education. After a year working at SP, he moved back to Italy in 1987 to join Luca Brenta to found, two years later, the Brenta Design.
As first project at Brenta office, Lorenzo was involved with the Two Ton Admiral’s Cupper “Marisa”. In 1989 the first Wallygator was commissioned by Luca Bassani which started a long relationship with Wally Yachts. The second Wallygator (first ever 100ft built in carbon fibre) soon was followed by other racing yachts and further projects for Wally, including Wally B and Kenora. A further milestone was the project Ghost, a very innovative project built by Vitters for a prominent American client. In the 2000 decade several collaborations included a Nautor 76 built in Finland, a 74ft build at Yachting Development in New Zealand and the design of yet another milestones for our office, both in terms of innovations and technology, the 100ft sailing yacht Chrisco built for by CNB.
From 2010 the office is also involved in the design of power displacement vessel called Logica ranging from 98ft to 147ft built in Viareggio while the B Yachts line of daysailers, designed and produced by the office, including models from 30 to 60ft has reached the 70 units sold to date. Lorenzo is married and he has a boy.
Gillian Brown, Wetzels Brown Partners
Qualified in Interior Design at Middlesex University in London, Gillian spent the first 12 years of her career designing luxury restaurants, hotels and retail. This has given her a solid grounding in the importance of defining the concept as part of a branding strategy and prompted her appointment for 3 years as External Examiner at her University.
With a background in club racing and a passion for the sea, in 2000 Gillian moved to the yachting world with the detailing and build of the Wallypower 118. This was the first project in a long term collaboration with Wally.
Now based in Amsterdam, Gillian set up Wetzels Brown Partners in 2003 with Rob Wetzels to pursue their dream to create interiors with excellence on sea and land.
The architectural and yacht projects have proved complementary in advancing design quality by keeping us challenged, inspired and flexible. Backed by an international team with a breadth of experience and knowledge, WBP takes a fresh look at projects combining British interior design and a fresh Dutch architectural approach to innovation and technology.
WBP yacht projects include the Wallypower 64’ and the 73’ Lunchboat, CNB100 Chrisco, Contest Yachts for the rebranding of the fleet and as a contrast, the refurbishment of a classic Feadship, Heavenly Daze. The latest Wally is the 50m sailing yacht, Better Place.
Gillian has a passion for design, especially found in the detail and believes it is this sense of fun which is the key to success in projects.
Bill Tripp, Tripp Design Naval Architecture
Bill Tripp spent his childhood on the water sailing and racing in boats his father designed. Bill’s father, William H. Tripp, Jr., designed such well-known yachts as the Bermuda 40, the Block Island 40 and the Columbia 50. Bill studied Naval Architecture at the University of Michigan (M.E. & B.E. in Naval Architecture) and joined up with Doug Peterson right out of school, working on designs that would be victorious in regattas such as the SORC, the Admirals Cup, the Sardinia Cup, and the Southern Cross series. After spending several years as chief designer with Peterson, and as a construction engineer for Maxi Yachts Kialoa, and Condor, as well as a brief stint at Baltic Yachts, Bill struck out on his own, founding Tripp Design in 1984.
Tripp Design is a team of Naval Architects, Engineers and Design Project Managers specializing in the design and engineering of modern yachts. Their current projects range from 43-feet to 80+ metres. Recently launched is the Wally 50m Better Place (awarded RINA Green Star Certification). Other notable designs include the 42.6m Sarissa (winner of the 2012 Showboats Design Award for Naval Architecture), the 45m Saudade (winner of the 2007 Boat International Superyacht Award Best Sailing Yacht 45m’+).
Jay Beever, Vice President, Marketing and Interior Design, Embraer Executive Aircraft
Jay Beever is an Automotive Design graduate from Macomb College and has since become a well-known professional in the business aviation and automotive industries for his interior work for high-end, luxury products.
He started his career as a design engineer at Ford Motor Company in 1998. After spending four years in the Dearborn studios, Jay joined the newly created Advanced Design Center in Irvine, CA. He led the design engineering group responsible for 3-D modeling and package engineering of future automotive design concepts, such as Lincoln Navicross, Mercury Messenger, Ford Bronco, and various Premiere Automotive Group concepts.
While enjoying the opportunity of working with well-known industry design leaders like Henrik Fisker and Freeman Thomas, Jay was invited by Chuck Pelly, founder of BMW Designworks USA, to chair several discussions on the new era of Digital Design during the Design Los Angeles symposiums at the 2005 and 2006 Los Angeles International Auto Shows.
Jay continued these responsibilities until late 2007 when he joined Gulfstream Aerospace as the interior design manager of the New Product Development Department, in Savannah GA. where he would lead design and development of the all new G650 interior.
In July of 2012, Jay accepted his current position at Embraer Executive Jets as their Vice President of Interior Design, adding to the Company’s growing team of engineers and designers at its headquarters in Melbourne, FL. The scope of his role and title later evolved incorporating Marketing to his responsibilities. His hobbies include classic boating, art, architecture, and scuba diving.
Giorgio Ferlito, Project Manager of 140m Victory, Fincantieri Yachts
Graduating as a Naval Architect and Marine Engineer at Genoa University , Giorgio Ferlito worked for Fincantieri at the beginning of his career in submarine and auxiliary ships technical department.
He approached the yachting field by working in 1990 as Technical Responsible of Valdettaro Shipyard, specialized in refitting and new construction of wood and steel 30 to 45 metre motor yachts, and then in 1994 by moved to Benetti Shipyard.
At Benetti, from 1994-2007, he developed most of his technical experience by performing the engineering of ten new 50m – 70m motor yacht designs in steel (provided by Helideck), for approximately 20 constructions of yachts in this size and 40 builds of composite yachts in the 30m to 45 metre size range.
He became Project Manager at Benetti for new yachts of 65m to 70m and Shipyard Director of the Viareggio facility.
With this depth of experience, in 2007 he returned to the Fincantieri organization and the newly formed Megayacht Division, as Project Manager of the Nauta 80m and Zulu Project of 90 metres. He is also Project Manager of the 140 metre megayacht Victory, since December 2009.
Peder Eisdgaard, Eidsgaard Design
Peder Eidsgaard founded Eidsgaard Design in 2005. Ewa Eidsgaard and Ben Harrison are also partners in the now seven-strong team based in Fulham, West London.
Peder was born in Great Britain and grew up in Oslo, Norway after serving one year in the army there. He gained a Bachelor of Science degree at ‘Art Centre College of Design (Europe)’ in Switzerland before joining Andrew Winch Designs in 1996 for nine years. He decided on his chosen career after reading about London’s superyacht designers in a magazine when he was 12 years old.
Since the start in London in 2005, Eidsgaard Design has been involved in the design of more than 15 private jets, two residential projects and several yachts. Among the ocean-going projects are the 150ft Wally ‘Saudade’ for a German owner, the interior refit for Lurssen’s 73m ‘Queen K’, the interior for the 130ft ‘Angels Share’ (refitted at Lurssen) and most recently the exterior and interior design for the award winning Feadship Royal van Lent’s 77.7m ‘Tango’.
Eidsgaard Design is currently working on new builds in Northern Europe, projects in China, and have also extended their Limousine tender expertise to include designs for Norwegian boat builder Windy.
Frank Neubelt, Frank Neubelt • Yacht Designs
Frank Neubelt is an internationally recognized German yacht designer, who looks back on a long career in custom styling, concepts, naval architecture, layouts and yacht interiors. Founder and principle lead-designer of NEWCRUISE, his creativity made the company one of the most respected and influential German yacht design brands at that time.
In 2000, Frank set up a partner company offering special project services, Yacht Design-Plus. This resulted in several award-winning superyachts followed by further significant concepts and projects in planning under the same label.
Frank left NEWCRUISE in 2012, and embarked upon a sailing break on his 45 year old Huisman before setting up his own studio-brand, Frank Neubelt • Yacht Designs. Frank’s studio is affiliated with the Hamburg design agency NC2 • German Yacht Project Cooperation, which Frank established with his long term friend and business partner, Broder T. Hansen, a former commercial ship trader specialist.
NC2 is managed by Broder, working with Frank, design engineer Udo Haffner and hydrodynamic specialist Richard Anzböck to create high level custom motor and sailing yacht designs.
Bill Duker, Owner of 70m Perini Navi sailing yacht in construction
Bill Duker is the former owner of S/Y Coconut and S/Y Shanakee. He is currently building a 70m S/Y Sybaris with Perini Navi.
In addition to the Perini team, led by Giancarlo Ragnetti and Franco Romani, Bill is working with the Miami interior design firm PH Design Studio, the naval architect, Philippe Briand, Robert Tobin of Döhle and Bill’s son and business partner, West Duker.
Sybaris is expected to be delivered January, 2015.
Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Owner of 68m Feadship M/Y Lady Christine and the 25.2m Wally S/Y Highland Fling
Irvine Laidlaw took up sailing while living in the UK. On moving to Hong Kong in 1980, he built and took there the first Highland Fling, a Dubois 34. Joining the Hong Kong Admiral’s Cup team in 1983 as co-charterer was his first move into Grand Prix racing. This introduction was quickly followed by the purchase of a Dubois 42, then a Farr one tonner for 1985. In the Farr, Irvine was second in the World One Ton Cup, and in the winning British team for the Southern Cross Cup.
Four Swans (46’ – 112’) and other racing boats followed this, and then back to day racing with his present fleet of a Reichel/Pugh 82, Reichel/Pugh IRC 52, Corby 49 (kept in Cape Town), and for 2013, a Ker 46.
Irvine chose to stop cruising on sailboats in the early 1990s, purchasing and building a series of Lady Christine motor yachts, plus some smaller boats. His current boat is a 68 metre Feadship launched in 2010, which is presently in New Zealand while on a round the world cruise. He also has a Sunseeker 34 metre in the Med.
Guido Krass, Former owner of 77m Espen Oeino designed M/Y Smeralda
Guido Alexander Krass (born 1957) is the founder of PARI Group, a holding with several European industrial companies in the sectors of energy efficient building technologies, renewables, medical and software. Guido, graduated with a German law degree, has been a serial entrepreneur and private equity investor since the mid-eighties. His personal passion project, the Silver Series, has become synonyms with being the most fuel efficient, elegant yet fast 75m+ aluminum yachts. In 2001 he started Hanseatic Marine/SilverYachts as a green field operation in Perth, Australia. He lives in Zurich, Switzerland with his family.
Sebastian Vibe-Petersen, Family owners of the 54 metre Perini Navi sailing yacht Parsifal III and 56m Parsifal IV
Kevin Jaffé, Owner of the 37.8 metre Delta motor yacht Marama
Kevin Jaffé, a resident of Palm Beach, FL, is the retired Owner, President and Co-Chairman of the Behr Paint Company, America’s largest architectural paint company.
His yachting career spans over 50 years on both the East and West coasts of North America and extensive cruising in the South Pacific. His early focus was devoted to racing one-design Lightings and Star boats which culminated in winning the Sears Cup, the Junior Sailing Championship of North America All Classes in 1958. A transition to offshore racing and cruising began with the ownership of two different Swans followed by a twelve-year ownership of the maxi Windward Passage.
In 1994, he set-up his own shipyard in San Diego, California for a complete four-hundred-thousand man hour restoration/rebuild of INVADER – a classic 1963 93-foot steel Burger designed by Jack Hargrave and built during the Henry Burger era. INVADER remains under his ownership and is used extensively in the Bahamas and South Florida.
1998 was the start of a twelve-year South Pacific cruising program when a base was set-up in Gulf Harbor, New Zealand. To maximize this ongoing endeavor a new 124’ Delta, long-range expedition vessel, MARAMA, was delivered in May 2008. Since delivery, MARAMA has cruised over 38,000 miles in the South Pacific, British Columbia, Alaska and Central America.
For the past six years, he has served as a judge for the World Superyacht Awards.
Hani Jabsheh, Owner of the 42.6 metre CRN motor yacht Hana
Hani Jabsheh is co-founder and CEO of Al Bawaba.com, Inc. – the largest digital content provider and a pioneer in online media in the Arab world and greater Middle East. Since its inception thirteen years ago, Al Bawaba has been at the forefront of wholesale media aggregation and syndication through its Al Bawaba and Syndigate brands in the region.
Hani has also been an avid boater and a keen water-sportsman since his early days in the Arabian Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi, learning to water ski at the age of six. The family has had several boats throughout the years and currently own a 43-meter CRN displacement yacht. Named after his mother, M/Y Hana was the first ever yacht to be fully integrated with Apple TV technologies at delivery in 2008.
Hani Jabsheh also serves as a judge on the World Superyacht Awards panel for Boat International Media.
Henk Koster, Owner of the 48.35 metre motor yacht Grace
Born during the war, in Hilversum, Holland, of Dutch parents, Koster initially trained for a career in shipping and sailed as junior officer on cargo ships. He then changed over to civil aviation and, after military service as a navy pilot, joined several airlines as co-pilot, captain, chief instructor and operations manager. During this period, home was Amsterdam, Malta, Geneva and Monaco.
Later, Koster reduced his flying duties considerably, in order to study philosophy and to pursue several small ventures as diverse as real estate, interior design, medical research, insurance, yacht building in Holland, seaplane flying in the U.S. and a lot of sailing in the Mediterranean. Eventually, there was also time to build the 48M modern classic motor yacht ‘Grace’. Koster holds a master’s certificate for all ships of less than 3000 GT, enabling him to operate ‘Grace’ commercially as his own captain, preferably North of the Arctic Circle.
Paola Trifiro, Owner of 50m Fitzroy S/Y Zefira
Born in Milan, Paola S. Trifiró is a lawyer, but at the same time she is also a passionate lover of design and art, and has always been a sailor at heart. In particular she is fond of adventurous sailing to far distant seas and has recently cruised the South Pacific Ocean, visiting Fiji and Samoa, and also to Norway and Alaska. With her husband, Salvatore, she has been involved with many sailing yacht building projects, from just 7-meters when a young student, to the largest and latest – Zefira, a 50-metre Dubois design, built from aluminium and carbon and constructed in New Zealand over a two year period under the personal supervision of Paola.
Thomas Haffa, Owner of the 38.5m Sanlorenzo M/Y 4H
Thomas Haffa (born 1952) is a German entrepreneur, well-known as founder and CEO of EM.TV AG, a German Media Company.
After school and commercial education at BMW, Thomas Haffa started working for IBM in 1973.
In 1979, he began his career at the German Media Group KIRCH – pioneering the home video business. In 1983 he was appointed Managing Director of the merchandising and music departments.
In 1989, Thomas decided to found his own media company – EM.TV. He was the company’s CEO and major share holder until July 2001, when he sold his shares.
Today, Thomas Haffa operates amongst other entrepreneurial activities Air Independence GmbH, an exclusive air charter company based in Germany and Austria. His most recently established company is dotbooks GmbH – an electronic book company.
His greatest passion – boating – started when he was 10 years old and his uncle gave him a little folding boat with sails. Since that time, his enthusiasm for boats is unbroken.
Thomas Haffa is married and has two children.
Stav Jacobi, Member of the Owner’s Family, M/Y Engelberg
Laura Sessa, Studio Laura Sessa
Laura Sessa always knew that she would become an architect. Her love of drawing lead her to take an internship with the Giorgetti and Magrini agency in Milan while still studying for her Master’s degree in architecture at the University Politecnico in Milan. She became a proficient draughtsman completing work on iconic yachts such as Creole among others sailing yachts.
Laura moved to Paris (1988) to work in the yachting department of the late Alberto Pinto. She worked projects and new builds like Zenobia, Golden Odissey and Maracunda . The collaboration with the Alberto Pinto was formative for Laura and her ties to the agency are still very close today.
Her first independent project was the 52m new build Amels Lady in Blue launched in 2004. The yacht was an immediate success and Amels asked Laura to become one of their in-house architect for the 180’ Limited Editions. The relationship with Amels spanned over 10 years and has included 15 projects including La Mirage, Were Dreams, Lady Nag Nag, Bel Abri, Ariela, Step One, 4You, Apollo, Astra, Serenity J, and Event.
Laura’s most recent work includes 80m Chopi Chopi, launched by CRN in 2013 and the 60m Mimtee launched by CRN in 2011.
Laura spent her formative years in Greece and the colours of the sunny Mediterranean are the hallmark of her very elegant yet intimate style of design. She has a large international client base who appreciate her attention to detail and understanding of colour.
The client is always central and the design reflects his/her taste, passion and requirements.
Laura opened her agency in 2000 in the countryside just outside Rome and now leads a team of 8 young designers. She is working on 6 new build yachts due for launch in 2014 and 2017 as well as a selection of private homes.
Kev Mathieson, Helidecks Training Solutions
Kev spent 26 years in the UK Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot operating to many different types of vessels worldwide. Qualified on 6 different helicopter types and having gained much experience in maritime flying operations he set up Helidecks Training Solutions Ltd in 2006. To date Helidecks have been involved in over 50 yacht projects advising on design, operations and training. In 2012 the company gained accreditation from the UK MCA to deliver commercial yacht, helideck crew training to those vessels that require commercial courses, the only company in the world able to offer this service.
Helidecks have now grown to 15 people and are involved in aviation training and consultation worldwide with a significant operation in Trinidad and Tobago. Kev’s passion is helicopter aviation and really enjoys talking over new projects in order to fulfil the owner’s aviation vision. Never an easy task to land a helicopter on a moving vessel, Helidecks ensure that the one of the most risky procedures is made as safe as possible for an owner and family.
The Owner of 30.48m CNB S/Y Chrisco
Bill Pearson, North Sails
Bill Pearson oversees Technology and Material Development for the North Technology Group.
He joined North Sails UK in 1990 and moved to Minden, Nevada in 1997, where he has lead the Product and Material development teams through both the 3DL and 3Di eras. He lectures frequently on various NTG technologies at universities and Technical Conferences around the world, as well as writing regularly on North’s technologies for sailing magazines and composites publications. Bill is also heavily involved in moving 3Di technology to other sectors of the economy outside of the sailmaking industry, particularly in boatbuilding, aerospace, and automotive sectors (F1) through his work on Business Development for North Thin Ply Technology (TPT). As a former professional yachtsman and Whitbread Race veteran Bill has 30 + years of experience in the marine industry.
Henning Schwarzkopf, CHEURAM Consulting Group
Henning Schwarzkopf is a founder and partner of CHEURAM Consulting Group Ltd., an international consulting firm based in Hong Kong with Chinese, European and American partners.
Originally starting out as an admiralty lawyer and having worked in law-firms in San Francisco and Hamburg, Germany, Mr. Schwarzkopf’s legal and business practice in the last more than 25 years has expanded to international corporate, tax and financing matters, but continues to include matitime and, specifically, (superyacht) yacht-related issues.
In recent years, he has increasingly focused on China. He has been advising European and American clients on matters relating to their market entry into China, while, at the same time, working with domestic mainland Chinese groups in areas such as yacht building, registration, crew training facilities and agreements with Westerns partners.
Mr. Schwarzkopf received an M.C.L (master of comparative law) degree from the University of Miami, Florida Law School in 1979. Prior to his studies in the United States, he completed his education as a German lawyer and was a student at Leiden University in the Netherlands, as well as Tongji University in Shanghai.
He has been a speaker at conferences in various countries and venues and is a member of APSA, the Asia Pacific Superyacht Association.
John Venables, Naiad Dynamics
John Venables is CEO and founder of NAIAD MARITIME GROUP, INC., a multinational corporation and the parent company of the NAIAD DYNAMICS® (ND) companies, with operations in Connecticut, Maryland, Florida, and Washington USA; Portsmouth UK and Maastricht Netherlands. ND specializes in the design, manufacture and through-life support of active ship motion control and seakeeping systems for the luxury yacht, commercial ship and naval ship sectors.
John began his career in marine and aerospace engineering, precision manufacturing, and ship stabilization over 30 years ago. For the 18 years to 2009, John was responsible for several marine technology-based businesses of VT Group plc (formerly Vosper Thornycroft UK Ltd), and in 1998 was a founding member of the VT Motion Control Group, an international collection of companies specializing in ship motion control solutions.
John holds three degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management, including a Master of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He serves on the Board of four corporations and the non-profit International Superyacht Society, and is a member of several professional organizations including the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE), the US Naval Institute, the International Hydrofoil Society (IHS), and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).
Jan-Eric Österlund, Former owner of the 54.64m SY Adele
Jan-Eric Österlund is a sailor and an explorer at heart. His first adventures at sea were made at a very tender age in small sailing boats on the narrow inlets that break up the Swedish coastline. After several years of sailing in Scandinavia, he built the eighty-foot sloop Swedish Caprice, which he sailed for three months a year, over a period of fifteen years. He voyaged in Alaskan and Canadian waters, the Far East, the South Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, but also in more familiar yachting waters such as the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and along the New England coast. For two years, Jan-Eric Österlund and his wife Jennifer lived on board Adèle, a 180-foot ketch with a sail area of 1,5550 square meters. They spent a considerable amount of time at sea and their voyage covered a distance corresponding to one Atlantic crossing each month.
Jan-Eric is a keen photographer and author and accounts of his voyages on Adèle have been published in a number of yachting magazines and his own photographic book, Exploring the Adèle. He is also a businessman with business interests that include investments in a number of biotechnology and medical companies. Jan-Eric has 5 children and he and his wife Jennifer live in Devon, south-west England.
John Leonida, Partner at Clyde & Co
John specializes in international marine transactional work and heads the firm’s superyacht grouping. His superyacht practice ranges from advising owners and builders of some of the world’s most luxurious superyachts as well as many designers.
He also advises on regulatory issues relating to the ownership of ships and has extensive experience in negotiating superyacht and shipbuilding transactions. He recently advised the issuers on US$575 million Norwegian bond for Sea Trucks Group. On the litigation side he has been involved in many of the leading superyacht cases to reach the English High Court in recent years.
John has been a partner since May 2003. He is a former development economist with the Foreign Office’s overseas development administration and has an economics degree from the University of Sussex and a masters in political economics from Middlesex University. He also has a law degree from the University of Westminster.
John is a regular contributor to superyacht symposia on issues as diverse as tax, the legal pitfalls surrounding superyacht design as well as superyacht finance. He also writes for several publications, including Boat International.
Nigel Campbell, Chairman of the Superyacht Design Symposium
Nigel Campbell is an international mediator, conference facilitator and journalist. He has brought his experience to bear on projects as far ranging as facilitating a series of complex public consultation meetings concerning a major oil and gas infrastructure project in the Far East of Russia to facilitating a landmark international symposium on Tsetse Fly control in Kenya. He works extensively in the transport and energy sectors where he regularly chairs debates between CEOs of European rail and utility companies and officials of the European Commission on matters of competition and regulation. For the past 15 years he has worked extensively as a mediator and conference facilitator at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). As a journalist, Nigel has contributed to the travel pages of the Telegraph newspaper. For the past 11 years he has also taught media and communication skills on the MBA programmes of two of Europe’s leading business schools – ESSEC in Paris and the Mannheim Business School.
He is delighted to be invited to chair the Superyacht Design Symposium for the third time. Nigel is also into his second year as chairman of the panel of judges for the ShowBoats Design Awards. In this role, Nigel facilitates and chairs the judging process as an objective non-voting, non-affiliated third party.