Meet the Team

While management of the activities of Sail Training International depends heavily on volunteers, the staff team is critical to the success of the organisation. This includes:

• The commercial team responsible for marketing and publicity, contract and project management, finance and administration.

• The race directorate, responsible for the technical management of races for sail training Tall Ships.

Biographies and contact details for each of our staff members can be found below:

Gwyn Brown
Chief Executive Officer

Gwyn joined Sail Training International in 2004 having previously worked at director level in the aviation industry where he was responsible for European marketing, business development and strategy formulation. He previously held the position of Commercial Director at Sail Training International and continues to be responsible for all commercial aspects of the organisation including marketing, sponsorship, contracting with host ports.

Contact Gwyn Brown –

Paul Bishop
Head of Race Directorate
Paul joined Sail Training International in July 2006 from the UK Sail Training (ASTO) where he was Business Manager. Prior to that he was the Director of the Rona Sailing Trust for nine years and the Operations for the Island Cruising Club based in Salcombe, Devon. He has entered numerous Tall Ships Races as captain since 1983 and he was the Assistant Race Director for The Tall Ships Races between 1987 and 1993. 

Paul started his career as a professional seafarer at the age of 21 mainly skippering sail training vessels around Europe. He has completed several trans-Atlantic crossings and participated as captain in the Australian Bicentennial Tall Ships event. He retains his commercial licence and regularly sails as a volunteer skipper for UK sail training charities. He regularly cruises his own Oyster Heritage 37 cruising yacht with his family and is a keen sea kayaker.

As Race Director, he is responsible for advising on all technical aspects of sail training within STI, future race planning and liaising with Host Ports on the infrastructure, in-port facilities and port programme for the Tall Ships Races and Regattas.

Sally Titmus MCIPR

Director of Marketing and Communications

Sally has an award winning marketing and communications background that spans sport, youth development, community development, charity and the public sector. She holds a masters degree and is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.  

Sally is responsible for marketing and communications strategy within STI including advising Tall Ship Race and Regatta ports, promoting sail training internationally and advising internal stakeholders including vessels, national sail training organisations and the STI Youth Council. Activities include website development, social media, branding, photography and video, media and public relations and event marketing. 

She is actively involved in sail training and has taken part in many Tall Ship Races and Regattas and other sailing events. 

Contact Sally Titmus – 

Sarah Pavey
Digital Marketing and Communications Manager
Sarah joined Sail Training International in May 2016. She has a degree in journalism and a background in book publishing, specialising in editorial and design/production. She started working in local history publishing at Phillimore & Co. Ltd and later moved onto travel publishing at John Wiley & Sons. Sarah moved out of print publishing and into digital at, where she worked as editor.




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Ben Clark

Digital Marketing & Communications Executive

A recent graduate of Portsmouth University, having studied English literature and language, Ben joined Sail Training International in May 2016. He has previously worked in the maritime industry with intelligence company Dryad Maritime and also has also worked as a marketing consultant for a number of start up companies.

Contact Ben Clark –

Paul Thompson
Commercial Director

Paul has worked in business development and client management across a variety of industries. He spent eleven years as Sales Director with The Challenge Business – the organisation behind the Global Challenge round the world yacht race. During this time he developed an active sponsor community of more than 100 companies.

Paul has been involved in sail training since his first voyage as a trainee in the early 1980’s. He has taken part in a number of Tall Ships Races, both as a trainee and in more recent years as a skipper with a UK sail training charity.

Contact Paul Thompson –

Alison Short
Commercial Assistant 

Alison joined Sail Training International in April 2015 having previously worked in the Hotel & Events Industry for over 20 years. Alison is also an experienced professional chef and cake maker.

Contact Alison Short –

Pauline Appleby
RDV17 Project Director
Pauline (aka Polly) has worked as an event director for nearly 30 years, running events in various industry sectors and for U.K. Government bodies. A member of the Chartered institute of Marketing, she also worked as a publicist for U.K. and U.S. publishers before moving into the world of Sail Training.

After several years sailing with the Jubilee Sailing Trust as a volunteer on Tenacious and Lord Nelson, she was first contracted by Sail Training International in 2007 to manage the annual conference and act as Media Manager for many of the Tall Ships Races and Regattas. She is currently Project Manager for RDV 2017, Media and Commercial Manager for the SCF Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta, and Conference co-ordinator for the International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference 2016.

Mike Bowles MBE CNI
Race Director

Mike served in the Royal Navy and then the British Army where he specialised in Port and Maritime Operations. He retired in the rank of Colonel following which he worked as a consultant in management and security in the marine field in the UK, USA and South America. An experienced dinghy sailor and an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, he is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Companion of the Nautical Institute.

Contact Mike Bowles –

Amanda Goodden
Race Directorate Administrator

Amanda joins Sail Training International  having worked for the Sail Training Association from 1999 to 2007.  Initially she was the Secretary to the Fundraising Director, and on the successful conclusion of the appeal to build the two brigs (Stavros S Niarchos and Prince William) she then acted as Membership Secretary and Fundraising Assistant to the charity.  Amanda sailed on the 1982 Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race from Falmouth to Lisbon.

Contact Amanda Goodden –

Alison Grace
Finance Administrator

Alison Grace was appointed Accounts Manager in August 2008 having previously worked as Office Manager for PR agency, Carswell Gould. Previously, Alison has worked for MEP UK Ltd as an Office Manager and Alldays Stores Ltd as a Management Accountant.

Contact Alison Grace –