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, and soon after, she 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, Bríd 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 part time as the Project Secretary.  Before then she had worked at a commercial sailing school before taking a sabbatical to raise her family.  As her role has grown alongside the Project she became full time in 2003. 

During her time with the Project she has seen many changes and improvements including the inclusion of females.  She 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.


Mark Norman - Project Shipwright

Mark, who lives in Gosport with his family joined the Project in 2002. Mark is a professional shipwright who overseas the integrity of the four sailing vessels in the RSP fleet. Mark played a very key role in the build of Merrilyn by the RSP from 2006 to 2008. Before joining the Project, Mark was a shipwright at Camper and Nicholson, where he worked on new builds and refit of super yachts.

Mark is a keen sailor and has built and raced boats extensively. When work allows Mark volunteers in the Project as a Mate.


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 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.