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 Operations 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 Head of Race Directorate, 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.

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 –

Sally Titmus MCIPR

Communications and Marketing Manager

Sally holds a masters degree in the environment and is an Accredited Practitioner with the Chartered Institute of Public Relation.  She has an award winning marketing and communications background that spans sport, youth development, community development, charity and the public sector.

A keen scuba diver, Sally traditionally spent more time under the sea than sailing on it, but since joining Sail Training International in 2012 she has become actively involved in sail training, taking part in many Tall Ship Races and Regattas and other sailing events. 

Contact Sally Titmus– 

Sean Andrews
Communications and 
Marketing Assistant
Sean Andrews is a British BA Hons Journalism graduate who works as  STI’s communication and marketing assistant, with a particular interest in social media.   He has two years’ experience in B2C marketing, as well as SEO copywriting and blogging experience. 

Sean has reported on a number of events including the UK’s biggest gaming event and the Tall Ships Races 2014, during which time he had the trainee experience of sailing on Class A Norwegian Tall Ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl.

Contact Sean Andrews -

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 –

Janet Gauntlett
Race Assistant and Administration

Janet joined Sail Training International in December 2002 when STI acquired the assets of ISTA. Previously she was Secretary to the Race Director from 1983.

Contact Janet Gauntlett –

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 Assistant

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 –

Esther Tibbs
Race Assistant

Esther was employed by the Sail Training Association from 1981 until 2002, her final position being Marketing Services Manager, Public Relations Officer and Editor of STA News.  She has been a regular Tall Ships sailor, principally on the Schooners Sir Winston Churchill and Malcolm Miller.  She was also an occasional volunteer in the mobile Race Office for the mid-1980s.  Esther joined the staff of Sail Training International in 2009.