Chief Technology OfficerGBRAndy ClaughtonChief Technology Officer
Britain’s Andy Claughton is one of the world’s most accomplished and experienced America’s Cup (AC) designers, having been involved with the competition since 1983. He originally graduated top of his class in Ship Science in 1975, and then in 1977 joined Southampton University’s renowned Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics. This was where he made many of his early contributions to America’s Cup teams. Andy worked on towing tank and wind tunnel tests, and developing speed prediction programmes for teams that included Team New Zealand, the AC winners in 1995 and 2000.
He took a career break from the Wolfson Unit to work full-time for Team New Zealand in 2000 as Research Coordinator and then Design Coordinator for the 2007 America’s Cup, which Emirates Team NZ narrowly lost to Alinghi. Andy worked with Team Origin until re-joining the Wolfson Unit in 2009 where he is now Director of Enterprise. Andy Claughton has published many papers, and won awards that include the Royal Institute of Naval Architects Small Craft Group Medal.
Andy was born in Yorkshire, and his family played cricket. Unfortunately, Andy didn’t have any talent in that direction, but discovered sailing through the Arthur Ransome books. When he was 13, and to avoid any further embarrassment on the cricket pitch, Andy’s father introduced him to a friend who sailed at Yeadon Sailing Club. It’s a small mill dam on the moors near Leeds Bradford Airport, so shallow that you can almost wade across. Andy cycled there every weekend, and would crew for anyone who had a space in traditional wooden dinghies.
As Technical Director Andy will coordinate a team of designers and engineers as they design, build and test the prototype and final boats that will challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.
Sailing Team / Team Leader Systems EngineeringNZLAndrew McLeanSailing Team / Team Leader Systems Engineering
New Zealander, Andrew ‘Animal’ McLean is an experienced inshore and offshore racer. He has campaigned three times for the America’s Cup, twice for his home country New Zealand, and competed in two editions of the global Volvo Ocean Race (VOR).
Most recently he competed in the 2012/ 13 America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) and the 30th Louis Vuitton Cup with Artemis Racing, on-board as a grinder and part of the performance and instruments shore team.
He also competed in the last edition of the VOR as Pitman/Trimmer on-board Team Camper, enjoying a second place finish, after making his VOR debut in 2008/09 on-board Green Dragon.
A qualified mechanical engineer, Andy was also part of the winning 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup team with fellow New Zealander and Land Rover BAR teammates, Jono Macbeth and Ben Ainslie. Andy also plays a vital role in the Land Rover BAR team as Team Leader of Systems Engineering.
• 2013: 4th – 30th Anniversary of the Louis Vuitton Cup with Artemis Racing, AC72
• 2013: Broke the Round the Island Race multihull record with J.P. Morgan BAR in the AC45
• 2011/ 2012 Volvo Ocean Race with Team Camper, Pitman/Navigator – 2nd
• 2008/ 2009 Volvo Ocean Race with Green Dragon, Pitman/Navigator – 5th
• 2007: Challenger and runner up – 32nd America’s Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand
• 2007: Winner – Louis Vuitton Cup with Emirates Team New Zealand
• 2003: Defender and runner up – 32nd America’s Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand
Systems Engineering TeamGBRPeter ArkellSystems Engineering Team
Peter joins the Shore Team as Senior Hydraulics Technician, helping the team to build and maintain all the hydraulic systems on-board. This is his first time working on boats, having spent 17 years in the motorsports industry working in the Hydraulics department for Formula 1. In Peter’s spare time, he enjoys diving and is a PADI certified ‘Advanced Open Water’ and Nitrox certified diver.
Design TeamGBRBryan AndreasDesign Team
Bryan began his career by serving as an aerospace design office apprentice at Martin Baker Aircraft. He soon became a full time employee and spent nine years working on the design for aircraft such as the RAF Harrier, Hawk, Tornado, USAF F15 and F18. Bryan then moved into motorsport, starting to design Le Mans and Indy cars before moving into Formula 1. He has worked at Bennetton, Leyton House, Team Lotus, British American Racing, Honda, Red Bull and Marussia. Recently Bryan has been responsible for the hydraulic systems on the cars. Alongside this Bryan has also designed at Lotus Engineering and Ascari Cars. Land Rover BAR will be Bryan’s first sailing team and he will be responsible for mechanical systems design.
Away from work, Bryan spends time with his wife and son as well as travelling and SCUBA diving, and, as you can imagine, still has a passion for cars.
Concept TeamARG-GERRodrigo AzcuetaConcept Team
Rodrigo Azcueta was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in Buenos Aires and Hamburg. After his graduation in 1996 he continued working at the University of Hamburg on viscous free-surface flows and ship motions, for which he was conferred the degree of Doctor of Naval Engineering in 2001. He then worked as a senior research engineer at MTG Marinetechnik GmbH in Hamburg, working on projects for the German Ministry of Defence until the end of 2003.
Rodrigo joined BMW Oracle Racing as head of hydrodynamic CFD for the 32nd America’s Cup Challenger, and remained there until 2007. In 2007 he founded Cape Horn Engineering, a CFD consultancy and joint-venture with the well-known Argentinean designer Juan Koujoumdjian. Together they have won three consecutive Volvo Ocean Race Campaigns for ABN Amro, Ericsson and Groupama. Rodrigo was Head of CFD at Team Origin (33rd America’s Cup) and at Artemis Racing (34th America’s Cup) until January 2013. Both owner and Managing Director of Cape Horn Engineering, Rodrigo led a team of eight full time engineers and CFD specialists for Artemis. In February 2013, Rodrigo ended his joint-venture with Juan K, and as owner of Cape-Horn-Engineering Ltd. he continues to work on high-performance yacht projects.
Design TeamPORFrancisco AzevedoDesign Team
Francisco was born in Lisbon, Portugal and is a keen surfer and sailor. Prior to focusing on his design career, Francisco campaigned his Mini Transat in the Mediterranean. Francisco joined Ker Yacht Design in 2010, and although he will be working primarily in 2D drafting and 3D modelling for the team, he can also turn his hand to software development when the need arises. Francisco graduated from Southampton Solent University with a B.Eng(hons) degree in Yacht and Powercraft Design.
System and Analysis TeamGBRWill BakewellSystem and Analysis Team
Will graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was previously responsible for systems simulation, performance (simulation and real world), ride and handling of high performance road cars at McLaren Automotive. Will joins Land Rover BAR as a systems simulation engineer, supporting the team with simulation and analysis of the boat’s control systems. He plays rugby and enjoys all sports
Concept TeamITAMario CaponnettoConcept Team
Mario was born in Genoa, Italy, and studied at the University of Genoa. Mario has sailed many boats for the Italian Sailing Team including optimists, 420s (becoming European Champion in 1980), 470 and took part in the Soling Olympics trials in 1984. He also won the Copa del Rey IMS overall in 1991 and 1992 and came 2nd in the J24 Italian Championships in 1992. Mario started his America’s Cup career in the 28th America’s Cup working with Il Moro di Venezia (Winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup), which was followed by Fast 2000 in the 30th America’s Cup, Luna Rossa in the 32nd America’s Cup, BMW Oracle (Winners) in 33rd Americas Cup, Oracle Team USA (Winners) in the 34th America’s Cup and began with Luna Rossa for the 35th America’s Cup. Mario joins Land Rover BAR as a member of the concept team in the design team. In his spare time Mario enjoys sailing, windsurfing and playing classic guitar.
Design TeamGBRAndy BrysonDesign Team
From Winchester, Andy graduated from Loughborough Univeristy with a degree in Computer Science. Andy is responsible for programming tactical aids and some of the onboard data calculations. He has eight years experience as a software engineer in the marine electronics industry working with B&G, who make instruments for most race boats (including Volvo Ocean Race). As a member of West Kirby Sailing Club, Andy is very into his sailing, with time on the British Youth Team competing in international events in the Laser, RS800 and 49er classes. He also won the Youth Nationals in match racing and subsequently sailed on the professional tour. In his spare time, Andy continues to enjoy sailing as well as cycling and playing the guitar.
Systems Engineering TeamGBRMark CartwrightSystems Engineering Team
Mark Cartwright began sailing young, in dinghies like the Enterprise and the International 14. It was the latter that persuaded him after a gap year competing in the class to take a position running racing boats. He went on to join the well-known race yacht services company Diverse Yachts in 2003, and began to specialise in electronics designing and installing systems. Since then he has combined working on projects from superyachts to world class race boats with navigating.
Mark has also worked on projects such as TP52 (Gladiator, Rán, Team Origin, Oracle TP52 and Patches), Mini Maxis (Ran, Alegre, Jethou, Robertissima, Bella Mente), J Class yachts (Velsheda and Lionheart), Volvo Ocean Race campaigns along with Hamilton, Inoui and Royal Huisman.
In his spare time Cartes likes to spend time with his family, chasing his dog around Norfolk, cycling and paddle boarding.
Design TeamFRAPhilibert ChenaisDesign Team
Philibert is a member of the Design Team specialising in 2D drafting and 3D modelling for the wing sail. Originally from La Rochelle, France, Philibert moved to Lorient to work on sailing projects. He previously worked for Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost (VPLP), the famous multihull and superyacht designers. The work included many projects from the America’s Cup Race Management AC72, maxi trimarans Prince de Bretagne and Sodebo, as well as Hydro C-Class catamaran and the 100 foot Comanche. Philibert also has previous America’s Cup experience as a boat builder for Alinghi’s successful 2007 campaign. Away from sailing Philibert has two children who are twins.
Lead Developer in the Data Analysis and Testing TeamGBRTom CheneyLead Developer in the Data Analysis and Testing Team
Born in Milton Keynes, Tom graduated from Portsmouth University with degrees in Computer Engineering and Electronic Engineering. Tom has experience in developing marine electronics and wearables from his work at Garmin. He also worked on developing the B&G WTP3/H5000 electronics and navigation software used in the 2015/16 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
He enjoys climbing, cycling, sailing and skiing in his spare time.
Design TeamDamien CharveriatDesign Team
Damien has graduated twice, with a Masters in Mathematics from Universite de Montreal in Canada and a Masters in Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique in France. He has spent all his career in Finance working as Portfolio Manager in various hedge funds in London and New York. This will be Damien’s first America’s Cup campaign, helping the design department to apply machine learning solutions to various design and data problems. In his spare time, Damien enjoys kitesurfing and walking his two dogs.
Analysis and Simulation TeamSUILuc du BoisAnalysis and Simulation Team
Luc du Bois was born in Lausanne in Switzerland, and sailed in the 1984 Olympics in Long Beach. Working in the basement of his parent’s house with his friend Pierre Baudet, he then came to invent one of the most transformative of sailing technologies of the last three decades – the 3DL sail. They sold the patent to North Sails and Luc spent seven years in the US developing the technology. It was first used by Dennis Connor and the New Zealand America’s Cup teams in 1992. It was the start of a long relationship with the Cup. He sailed with BeHappy as navigator in 2000, then joined Alinghi to run the performance analysis and to sail as testing navigator for their victorious 2003 campaign. He stayed with Alinghi through to their 2010 loss to BMW Oracle, and then joined Emirates Team New Zealand for the 2013 America’s Cup. Luc also loves to kite-surf, ski and paraglide.
Design TeamRSASimon EatwellDesign Team
Simon was born in Cape Town, South Africa where he studied Mechanical Engineering. He has spent the last fifteen years designing rigs for various mast manufacturers around the world, working on projects as small as Mini Transits to 101m freestanding rigs. Simon participated in the 32nd Americas Cup with team Shosholoza running the rig department. When he is not sitting at his desk, he can be found windsurfing, sailing, cycling, snowboarding and occasionally playing golf.
Systems EngineerAUSEdward HawthorneSystems Engineer
Edward joins Land Rover BAR having recently completed his Honours Thesis developing a control system and simulator for an autonomous sailing boat whilst studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Sydney, Australia. As an embedded systems engineer, Edward will be working on the control systems on board the race boat.
Edward was introduced to sailing at an early age, having spent the first four years of his life circumnavigating the world aboard his parents’ Swan 47. Since then, Edward has continued to sail several dinghy classes as well as keel boats and also enjoys athletics and skiing.
He likes long walks on the beach and ice cream on Sundays.
Engineering ManagerGBRRichard HopkirkEngineering Manager
Richard was born in Leeds, UK. He studied mechanical engineering at Cambridge University where he achieved a first-class degree, before gaining a Herchel-Smith Scholarship to study for and achieve his Masters in Engineering Science at Harvard University. Whilst at university, Richard took a gap-year commission with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, becoming Platoon Commander in the Territorial Army for a further six years. After completing his studies, he joined McLaren Racing as a Powertrain Simulation and Development Engineer, before becoming Lewis Hamilton’s Race Team Tactician. In this role, Richard was the main driver contact via radio during races and responsible for tactical execution of all track activity. He left Formula 1 to became Hybrid Function Group Manager at McLaren, taking the P1 Hybrid engineering program from initial ideas to worldwide consumer use.
Following his time with McLaren, Richard had a brief career sabbatical supporting the Great Pacific Race and touring Hawaii. He then became a Project Leader at the newly formed Red Bull Advanced Technology group, leading the relationship with our team, before leaving to join Land Rover BAR full-time.
Design TeamFRAAntoine GuillouDesign Team
Antoine graduated from ENSTA Betagne University in France with a masters in Marine Engineering. Since leaving university, Antoine has worked in Michel Desjoyeaux’s design office, focusing on the design and building of prototypic wingsails for the F18 and C-Class catamarans. In 2013, he worked with Benjamin Muyl our Chief Designer, in charge of Meta, a boat behaviour prediction framework. In addition to this, Antoine has a vast sailing background, claiming 3 podium finishes in the National Championships in 420, he was ISAF Youth World Champion in 2005 with the French Team and placed 3rd in the 2012 Tour de France a la voile. He joins the Analysis and Systems at Land Rover BAR.
Engineering TeamRSADavid JonsonEngineering Team
Born in Empangeni in South Africa, David is a mechanical engineer specialising in the design and analysis of composite structures. David qualified as a mechanical engineer in 1994, completed a Masters degree in 1997 and a PhD in 2002 at the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa. David has spent most of his career in the academic sector with a primary focus on research. He has also consulted as a practicing engineer to companies and institutions in the defence and industrial sectors. David was part of the South African Shosholoza design team that campaigned for the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007. He enjoys sailing and mountain biking in his spare time.
Head of EngineeringNED-USADirk KramersHead of Engineering
Dirk Kramers has been designing structures for the America’s Cup since 1977. A native of Hengelo in the Netherlands, he began by designing masts for the successful Courageous/Independence defence team. Those were the days when the Cup was seemingly screwed to a plinth in the New York Yacht Club forever, and Kramers settled in Newport, Rhode Island for the next America’s Cup in 1980. He has been involved ever since, designing rigs for Le Defi in 1983, and the rigs, beams and rudder for Team Dennis Connor’s successful catamaran defence in 1988. He was then hired as Chief Engineer for America3, winning with them in 1992, and losing with them in 1995, before another unsuccessful campaign with the Young America team in 2000. He then joined Alinghi as Chief Engineer, winning the Cup with them in 2003 and 2007 before losing to Oracle in 2010. He then moved across to become Chief Engineer for Oracle in 2013, where he won the Cup for an extraordinary sixth time.
Design TeamGBRIan LawDesign Team
Ian was born in Preston, Lancashire and has a BA Honors in Industrial Design (Transportation).
Ian is employed by BMT Nigel Gee working within the Design Team at Land Rover BAR. He has a diverse background in marine design, construction and project management working on the design and development of an extensive range of vessels for some of the marine industry’s leading builders, in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Ian works mainly on structurally testing parts of our test boats and weight management.
His hobbies include white water and slalom kayaking.
Analysis and Simulation TeamITAMatteo LedriAnalysis and Simulation Team
Matteo was born in Italy, and raced both Tornados and 470s with the Italian Sailing Team. He has twice placed on the podium as a navigator at the Offshore Racing Congress World Championships, and also won the European Championships. He obtained his MSc degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Trieste in 2004. He then worked for a software company, focusing on CFD analysis and optimisation for marine applications. In 2011 he joined forces with Land Rover BAR’s Rodrigo Azcueta at the Artemis America’s Cup team, and subsequently joined him as partner at Cape Horn Engineering Ltd. Matteo still has his own engineering consultancy company in Italy.
Project ManagerFRAMichel MarieProject Manager
Michel Marie was born in France and is married to a New Zealander. He graduated from the University of Caen in Physics and Measurements and studied Construction Technologies at the University of Nantes. He twice raced the Mini-Transat on boats he designed and built himself. He subsequently competed in the Whitbread Round the World Race as a bowman aboard Rucanor Sport before moving into boat-building, initially with Marten Marine in New Zealand. His first involvement with the America’s Cup was with the construction and shore team of Le Défi Français in 1992. He has since competed in five Cups, most recently holding senior management positions with Alinghi (2000 – 2007) and BMW Oracle Racing (2007 – 2010) for three America’s Cup victories. He has also worked on the construction and project management for yachts as diverse as Mari Cha III (carbon fibre cruiser), RAN 5 (72’ Mini Maxi), Merit Cup (Whitbread 60) and Merit / La Poste (Maxi IOR Whitbread)
Systems Engineering TeamGBRIan LoveringSystems Engineering Team
Ian Lovering began a successful career in the marine industry with a win at the 420 World Championships with John Merricks in 1994. Two years later, Lovering was working as shore staff for the British Sailing Team at the Atlanta Olympics, when Ben Ainslie and John Merricks won silver medals. Ian went on to attend the 2000 and 2004 Olympics in the same role.
He worked with the GBR Challenge in Auckland in 2003, and then started Ashdown Marine to specialise in race boat systems, hydraulics, painting and composite repair. Subsequently he has worked with four other America’s Cup teams; Team Origin, Victory Challenge and Team Germany.
Ian also has extensive experience in the Volvo Ocean Race, including working with the winners, Ericsson in 2007-08, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean, Telefónica and Abu Dhabi Azzam. And for the 2014-15 race he has installed the hydraulics in all seven boats, and painted six of them.
Analysis and Simulation TeamGERJohannes MausolfAnalysis and Simulation Team
Born in Hannover in Germany, Johannes switched tracks from a career in Superyacht construction to Naval Architecture and Maritime Technology, in which he graduated with an MEng from the University of Applied Science at Kiel. During his time in Kiel, Johannes wrote a paper on the photogrammetric investigation of downwind sails, both in the wind tunnel and full size, and the paper was presented by a colleague on his behalf at the Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium. He also tested America’s Cup wingsails for the America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) design package for the 34th Cup. Johannes joined Ker Design in 2012, initially working on sail-morphing technology for aero simulation, and he has increasingly become involved in advanced Velocity Prediction and dynamic modelling techniques.
Engineering TeamGBRMark McCaffertyEngineering Team
Mark was introduced to sailing at the age of four, and has subsequently sailed most types of boat, but currently owns a foiling International Moth. He studied Ship Science at the University of Southampton, and since then has gained a lot of experience in the marine industry in the design and engineering fields. This is his third America’s Cup, the first being with Mascalzone Latino during in the 32nd Cup, and then BMW Oracle Racing in the 33rd America’s Cup. Mark also has a lot of Volvo Ocean Race experience working with Amer Sports One, Assa Abloy, Ericsson Racing 3 and 4 and as a consultant for Green Marine on the one-design boats being used in the 2014-15 edition of the race. He now lives in Lymington, and spends his spare time windsurfing, kitesurfing and cycling.
Analysis and Simulation TeamSWEElisabeth McLeanAnalysis and Simulation Team
Elisabeth was born in Solvesborg, Sweden and went on to study Mechanical Engineering with a major in Turbulence at Chalmers University of Technology. After graduation Elisabeth was working for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in USA before moving back to Europe to work as a Software Vendor with CD-Adapco. During a sabbatical year, Elisabeth worked on superyachts for which she acquired maritime certification as a marine engineer. Returning from her sabbatical, she set up a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) department at the yacht manufacturer Feadship in the Netherlands. She joined Land Rover BAR as part of the CFD team and still loves to get out on the water whenever she can.
Design TeamFRAYves MignardDesign Team
Yves Mignard moved from France to the UK to study at Southampton Institute, and graduated in 2000 with a B. Eng in Yacht and Powercraft Design. He returned to his homeland to start his career working on the moulds for high-performance multi-hulls, before moving to Catana Catamarans and a position as the in-house naval architect. A year later he joined the famous French design firm VPLP, where Yves spent eight years working on a variety of racing multihulls and monohulls. In 2007 he was involved with the VPLP team that worked on the design of the Oracle defender, leading the drafting and doing liaison between the design and construction teams. When it was over, he left VPLP to join the hugely successful Groupama Sailing Team for their winning Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 (VOR) project. Once Yves had a winning VOR under his belt, he re-joined Oracle Team USA for the end of their 2013 defence. He then worked with the Sodebo Sailing Team as design coordinator for the build of the new Sodebo 4, before joining Land Rover BAR in the summer of 2014.
Chief DesignerFRABenjamin MuylChief Designer
Benjamin Muyl began designing right after completing the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers in 1998. He joined the hugely successful VPLP Yacht Design, specialists in offshore racing multihulls, and worked on many of their cutting-edge projects. He moved into the America’s Cup arena in 2005 when he joined the French Areva Challenge, remaining there until he left to start Benjamin Muyl Design (BMD) in August 2007.
Since then, Benjamin has subsequently worked on BMW Oracle Racing’s winning trimaran for the 33rd America’s Cup, and then with the narrowly-defeated Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 in the 34th Cup. He was one of the naval architects for the Groupama International C Class Catamaran team, and remains involved with the Open 60 class of solo long-distance racing boats. In fact, he worked on Macif, winner of the 2012-13 Vendee Globe. He is also an enthusiastic participant in the International C Class Catamaran with his team ‘Challenge France – Flying Frogs’ – and has a sense of humour.
Design TeamGBROliver PendletonDesign Team
Ollie started his career working as a marine engineer. He travelled the world working on various super yachts, prior to studying Yacht and Powercraft design at Southampton Institute. Since leaving university in 2005 he has been involved in the design of various yachts and more recently as a product design engineer, specialising in 3D design and modelling. As well as working as part of the design team, Ollie also looks after the software for the design department. When he’s not running around after his three children he enjoys cycling, running and swimming.
Design TeamARG-ESPRodrigo QuesadaDesign Team
Rodrigo started sailing at the age of eight in an Optimist, and after deciding that he wanted a marine career, he went on to study as a Naval Architect at the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in his native Argentina. He has subsequently gained plenty of experience, having been involved in three America’s Cups with Mascalzone Latino, Team Origin and, most recently, Artemis Racing. He has supplemented his America’s Cup experience with three Volvo Ocean Races with Team ABN-Amro, Team Ericsson and Telefonica.
Analysis and Simulation TeamGBRJames RocheAnalysis and Simulation Team
James Roche was born in Manitoba, Canada, but started his education at Sevenoaks School, Kent. He went on to obtain a BEng (Ship Science) and EngD (Aerodynamics and Race Simulation) at the University of Southampton. Prior to joining BAR he was employed by McLaren Applied Technologies and was a member of Team GB’s support staff for two consecutive Olympic Winter Games, in 2010 and 2014.
He used the skills developed to co-design the Olympic gold medal winning skeleton sled for Amy Williams’ victory in 2010 and then Lizzy Yarnold’s in 2014. The BlackRoc sleds were named by combining his surname with that of his design partner Rachel Blackburn.
James is also a keen sailor, his achievements range from dinghy sailing in the British Youth 420 team, to racing yachts in the Commodores’ Cup, Fastnet, and Round Britain and Ireland races. He has won the J97 British Championship. He also has experience sailing foiling boats, having raced in the International Moth. James’ role at Land Rover BAR will focus on supporting the development of simulation and performance prediction tools.
Systems Engineering TeamRSA-GBRAshton SampsonSystems Engineering Team
Ashton was born in Cape Town, South Africa and now has dual nationality, living in the UK. After finishing his studies of Electrical Engineering at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Ashton began a career in telecoms before being signed up to the South African America's Cup sailing team, Shosholoza, for the 32nd America's Cup as midbowman. Over the last few years Ashton has worked as an electronics engineering technician for Diverse Yachts with projects including Vendee Globe Teams and Volvo Ocean Race (Hugo Boss, Gamesa, Delta Lloyd, Abu Dhabi Racing and VOR One Design fleet for 2014/15). Ashton now joins the Land Rover BAR team as an Electrical Technician. In his spare time, Ashton enjoys cycling, reading, running, dinghy sailing and Formula 1.
Design ManagerGBRSimon SchofieldDesign Manager
Like many before him, Simon Schofield started his sailing in Optimists. He continued to compete right through his education, winning many University Match Racing events. He graduated from Southampton with a degree in Ship Science, and joined Ker Yacht Design. On his initial stint with the company he worked on the South African entry to the 32nd America’s Cup. He then spent 18 months working with Juan Kououmdjian, mostly on the yacht Speedboat. During this period they also designed the winning boat in the 2005/06 Volvo Ocean Race. Simon then returned to Ker Yacht Design as a partner, and subsequently joined Land Rover BAR.
Project Manager, Technical Innovation GroupGBRRob TolftsProject Manager, Technical Innovation Group
Rob grew up in Cape Town and graduated from the University of Cape Town with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and completed an Open University degree in History. His background lies in Embedded Systems for satellite phones and other wireless devices, medical and consumer device development and taking concepts from lab proof of principal through to factory production floor. Rob also holds patents in pump controls and rotating mechanical fixtures.
Rob joins the team as TIG Project Manager, drawing from the deep expertise of the TIG partners to support the team in developing some of the cutting edge technology used on the boats.
In his spare time, Rob enjoys playing squash, running and going to the theatre.
Design TeamFRABenjamin VernieresDesign Team
Ben Vernieres was born in Vannes, France, and graduated from the Université de Nantes in 2000 in Material Science and Engineering. He came to England soon afterwards, and did a BEng in Yacht and Powercraft Design, followed by an MSc in Ship Science and Computational Fluid Dynamics at Southampton University. He subsequently joined up with British yacht designer, Jason Ker, working in several areas of design on his successful stable of racing boats.
Ben is also a talented small boat sailor in his own right, winning the famous Prince of Wales Cup in the International 14 dinghy class in 2004. He has also placed on or very close to the podium at European and World Championships in the same boat. He will be confined to a computer at Land Rover BAR however, working on 3D modelling and drafting.
Analysis and Simulation TeamMax StarrAnalysis and Simulation Team
Max joins the Design team within the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) group. This role involves carrying out simulations of the boats and their components in virtual wind tunnels, to analyse the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic effects taking place.
Max graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, subsequently working on satellite navigation technologies and aircraft electronic control systems. He then specialised, obtaining a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics. Before joining Land Rover BAR, Max worked for the CFD software company CD-adapco in London, closely supporting a range of clients from a Formula 1 team to large ship builders with many other industries in between.
In his spare time Max enjoys Dinghy sailing, cycling and getting his hands dirty working on his decades old car.
Systems Engineering TeamGBRNeil WiseSystems Engineering Team
Neil joins the team as instrumentation and controls technician, responsible for installation, maintenance and day to day running of all electrical controls, instrumentation and data acquisition systems on board our boats. This will be Neil's first America's Cup, having previously worked within the automotive industry with companies such as McLaren, Ray Mallock, TESLA and Gordon Murray Design. In his free time, Neil enjoys spending time with his family.
Systems Engineering ApprenticeGBRLloyd WoodhouseSystems Engineering Apprentice
From the Isle of Wight, Lloyd joins the team as our first Shore Team Apprentice specialising in Marine Electrical Engineering. Straight after leaving school, Lloyd completed a ski season in Val D'sere. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, kayaking, going to the gym and long distance running. He has represented the Isle of Wight in football and completed at national levels in athletics.