Bríd Barrett (Project Director)

Bríd, who comes from Cork on the South Coast of Ireland, joined the Rona Sailing Project as Project Director in October 2014.

After completing an MSc in Development, she started working in Africa, overseeing humanitarian response programmes. She subsequently spent 12 years working in a variety of contexts in West Africa, DR Congo, Chad and Lebanon.

A lifelong love for sailing and an ambition and determination to work in Sail Training motivated her to gain her RYA Yachmaster Offshore ticket in 2012. Soon after, Bríd started working as Mate on traditional Sail Training vessels on the South Coast of England.

Before joining the RSP, Bríd logged more than 20,000 NM. When she gets the opportunity, she volunteers in the RSP as a Watch Officer.



Ann Bowers (Project Secretary)

Ann, who has lived in Southampton for the majority of her life, joined the Rona Sailing Project in 1998 as the part time Project Secretary. Before this she had worked at a commercial sailing school and then taken a sabbatical to raise her family.

Ann’s role has grown alongside the Project and she became full time in 2003. During her time with the Project she has seen many changes and improvements, and has also taken up the opportunity to sail on a few trips in the position of Supernumerary.

Outside the Project, Ann is involved with raising awareness and funds for Group B Strep Support, a cause close to her heart.



Jason Howell (Project Engineer)

Jason started with the Project in 1985, working alongside his father who was the Fleet Officer. Jason is the Project Engineer and as such has been involved in the build of both Rona II and Merrilyn. Before joining the Project he was a sheet metal worker.

Jason has, on occasion, sailed as a Watch Officer in the RSP. Outside of the Project Jason has a passion for steam engines and motorbikes.

Joe Sparkes (Project Bosun)

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Joe started within Universal Marina as an apprentice furniture maker working alongside Simon Harvey back in 2009, since then he has worked for the Yacht Care team as a yacht joiner as well as working self-employed for a couple of years to design and build a custom interior for a brand new 47-foot yacht.

He has a passion for working with wood and building furniture for home improvement projects; as well as being an avid music fan and playing fingerstyle guitar self-taught for over 20 years.