crew

the captain

After more than 10 years working together on Starfire as a team, in 2019 Captain Paul Duncan took the helm of this popular charter yacht’s operation over from Captain Carl Sputh, carrying on the tradition of guest satisfaction and seamless service. Captain Carl continues to assist in organizing and overseeing guest bookings and trips, ensuring complete continuity of the now-famous Starfire Experience.

Captain

Paul Duncan (Canadian, Age 42)

Paul grew up in Toronto, Canada, on the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario. Through high school Paul worked at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. This led to the beginnings of his career in the yachting industry.

At the age of 20, Paul headed south to the Caribbean. His first stop was Grand Cayman, where he worked on sailing day charter catamarans. He then moved to St. Maarten, where he raced retired America’s Cup boats for guests, and at the age of 23 began crewing on large sailing yachts. Rising to the position ofchief mate on the sailing side of the industry, Paul made the switch to large motor yachts after being offered an officer’s position cruising the Middle East.

Since then, Paul has continued to work his way up in the yachting industry, and has travelled extensively all over the world, both coastwise and overland. From the Gulf of Aden to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Himalayas to the veldts of Africa, Paul likely has a story to share if you’re interested and wants you to know that STARFIRE’s comfortable bridge sofas are always available as a great place to converse while the world slides past at 12 knots.

Paul holds a Master 3000-ton license and has been on STARFIRE for 10 years. Proud father of two children, Kiping and Deia, who live in the English countryside, Paul’s hobbies include surfing, sailing, and open water swimming. He is also a dedicated runner, having recently completed two marathons.

THE DECK CREW

You, as a Guest, might notice them climbing the mast to change the courtesy flag, polishing the stainless handrails to a blinding gleam, or assisting the Captain with moving the vessel… ultimately, the mission of STARFIRE’s Deck Crew is to provide you with safe passage from port to port in total comfort throughout your stay.

The Deck Crew can also be counted on for some fun in the sun. They will facilitate your entertainment with jet skis, wakeboards, kayaks, ski bobs, STARFIRE’s Hinckley tender or a cocktail on a secluded beach. They are the keepers of the hidden island gems… the secret beach hideouts.

First Officer

First Officer, Tom Lawrence (British, age 32)

Tom was born in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom and has had a passion for travel and adventure, right from the age of 18, where he left home to go to New Zealand to pursue a boyhood dream of being a professional cricket player.

Since joining the yachting industry over 10 years ago, Tom has had the opportunity to pursue his love for exploring and travelling, by cruising extensively the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas and the east coast of America. Tom’s love for travel and adventure, combined with his love for being active, both in and out the water, make the yachting industry perfect for Tom.

After working his way up the deck ranks on both private and charter motor yachts, of various sizes, Tom now holds his Chief Officer 3000GT license and is looking forward to continuing to grow and progress on Starfire.

Bosun

Jake Rosenberg (South African, Age 32)

Jake comes from the east coast of Durban, South Africa where living near the warm Indian Ocean, he learned his passion for bodyboarding. Jake partook in the World Tour for Bodyboarding and has travelled extensively around the world competing. He was in Hawaii where he first discovered the yachting industry helping a friend who taught him everything he knew.

Jake has a background knowledge of Film & Media studies and has aspired to further his career in the yachting industry. He holds his Yacht Masters Offshore Certification and has his Officer of the Watch certification.

Jake loves playing soccer, watching rugby, and making new friends everywhere he goes.

Deckhand

Michael Le Vagueresse (French, age 23)

Mike was born in Brazil and spent the first few years of his childhood among the beautiful beaches on the northeast side of the country. He then moved to the island of St Barth to start his studies, and later completed his Baccalaureate in Economics in Biarritz, France.

After observing the yachting environment in St Barth, Mike decided to pursue a career in yachting. He completed his Yachtmaster in 2019 and began working on both sail and motor yachts, with the goal of one day becoming a captain.

Throughout his life, Mike developed a strong relationship with the ocean and began surfing at a young age, reaching a competitive level. He also developed a passion for travel, exploring extensively around the world and seeking out adventures.

Deckhand

Nicholas Gibson (American, age 26)

Nico was born and raised in Michigan, USA, and later lived on the Florida Gulf Coast where he first discovered sailing. After studying journalism, he packed his bags and spent several years traveling throughout Europe and Asia, teaching English and Spanish as a second language, before eventually settling down on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. 

It was while living in Spain he started his yachting career in 2021 and has since worked on a mix of sailing and motor yachts since.

As an avid lover of all things aquatic, Nico holds RYA Powerboat licenses, is a PWC instructor, and PADI certified diver. During his free time, he enjoys sailing, adventure sports, and discovering new beaches. 

THE INTERIOR CREW

While onboard STARFIRE, you might perceive a hint of magic … your bed is always perfectly made, your clothes are always put away and your glasses are always in reach. Flowers and chocolate decorate your bed at night, a glass of champagne magically appears in your hand before dinner and your favorite song suddenly resonates throughout the sundeck.What appears to be magic is the result of great collaboration between the members of STARFIRE’s spot-on team of Stewardesses. It is their pleasure to accomplish the impossible on your STARFIRE holiday!

Chief Stewardess

Aimie Keech (Australian, age 30)

Aimie was born in NSW Australia, spending the first half of her childhood living amongst the beautiful white sand east-coast beaches, and the latter half riding dirt bikes and exploring the rural Australian outback. Eventually, she moved to Sydney at the age of 19, to study both architecture and interior design.Upon graduation she believed to become a well- rounded and knowledgeable designer you must experience the world firsthand. This ideology led her to commence a career in yachting in 2017, which has given her the opportunity to travel and work globally, experiencing cultures all around the world and interacting with many remarkable people.

Aimie has been in the yachting industry for 4.5 years, onboard Starfire for 2 years, and has managed to visit 32 countries in that time: her favorite being Morocco.

Aimie has extensive mixology & barista skills and enjoys bringing her energetic & creative design-driven personality into the world of yachting where possible

Second Stewardess

Sonika Swart (South African, age 31)

Sonika was born and raised in Cape Town South Africa. When she finished school, she spent a year doing missionary work in Africa where she taught less privileged children and helped building homes for them. Sonika’s love for children, teaching and her passion for people led her to obtain a bachelor’s degree in education.  

Sonika joined the yachting industry in 2016, and has worked on a range of vessels, from 30m to 68m. She loves that yachting allows her to travel the world and interact with people, while experiencing different cultures and destinations.

Sonika enjoys the outdoors, whether it’s a hiking adventure, going to the beach swimming or just staying in a tent overnight somewhere, she’s happy. 

Stewardess

Claire van Zyl (South African, age 24)

Claire was born in Toronto, Canada, however she spent majority of her childhood years living in multiple countries including the USA, UK, and eventually settling South Africa, giving her a passion for travel from a very early age. After finishing her studies in business and economics at university Claire decided to venture into the world yachting to expand on her passions for strong service delivery and being a team player. 

Claire has worked on multiple vessels and has traveled to many exciting locations, many being off the beaten track. One of her most memorable trips was crossing the northwest passage through the beautiful ice terrain of Greenland. 

Claire enjoys remaining active and exploring new places with hobbies including hiking and scuba diving. She is excited to bring her energetic personality and caring nature on board MY Starfire.

Stewardess

Fern Graham (Scottish, age 23)

Fern was born in a small town in Scotland called Melrose, a town known for creating the rugby 7’s. Her passion for travelling began in 2016 when she travelled around Tanzania, aiding with housing development. 

Combining her love for travel and hospitality, Fern decided to complete her yachting course last year. Since then, she has worked on vessels ranging from 45-97m before heading over to the French alps to complete a winter ski season. Following in the footsteps of her mum who is a sports therapist, Fern decided to train to become a massage therapist and is excited to utilize these skills on board Starfire. 

Fern loves all sports but is particularly enthusiastic about hockey and played for her region whilst growing up. She also enjoys watching the formula one weekends and was very grateful to be able to watch the Monaco Grand Prix last year.

THE CULINARY CREW

While pondering the idea of chartering STARFIRE, you might dream of white beaches, turquoise clear waters, a luxurious cabin and sun-soaking relaxation and fun. Yet, when you leave STARFIRE all you can think about is getting that oh-so-divine recipe from STARFIRE’s talented culinary Chefs!

Special requests are always met with rave reviews. STARFIRE’s Chefs will only be satisfied if they fulfill all of your personal dietary dreams.

Head Chef

Head Chef Stuart Chambers (Irish, age 44)

Stuart hails from Cork, Ireland. Starting to cook at an early age, following a two year professional chef’s course, Stuart returned to college and completed a four year degree in business and finance.

After college, Stuart’s love of traveling and adventure brought him to work in up market ski chalets in Canada and France which in turn led him into the world of yachting. Stuart has been in the yachting industry for fourteen years, working on sailing and motor yachts and as a personal chef for a famous Formula One driver. His plans for the future are to remain in the yachting industry for a few more years before opening his own restaurant.

In his spare time Stuart enjoys sampling the local cuisine during his travels and loves to hike.

Stuart’s passion for food and people shines through in every dish he prepares. His mission is to ensure that after each meal, all his guests walk away not only happy, healthy, and satisfied, but also full of unforgettable mouth-watering experiences. He looks forward to serving you!

Sous Chef

Anya Shevtsova (Ukrainian, age 32)​

Anya was born and raised in Kharkov, Ukraine where she attended the National Technical University to gain her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Anya worked for two years in Social Services helping various families and children throughout Kharkov. 

Anya travelled to the United States where she discovered the yachting industry, and along with it her passion for cooking. She travelled back to the Ukraine to attend the Culinary Academy of Hector Jimenez Bravo, a TV presenter as well as a Judge on the “Master Chef Ukraine” & “Ukraine’s Got Talent” Shows. 

Anya has apprenticed under Starfire’s Chef Stuart for 7 years; and has now proudly been promoted to work as the rotational Head Chef of Starfire. 

THE ENGINEERING CREW

As you first step onboard STARFIRE, you will briefly meet the engineers, then you might only see them once more when you are just about to step off STARFIRE for the very last time. When you do, you might think to ask them where they have been for all this time… They will laugh and say “don’t mistake it, we have been around”.STARFIRE is a technical wonder of mechanical, electrical and navigation systems. the engineers maintain every system so that you, STARFIRE’s Guest, remain safe and comfortable. They rotate in a 24 hour watch schedule to make sure that STARFIRE is always running at a level of peak performance.

Chief Engineer

Nick Edwards (New Zealand, age 37)

Although born in South Africa, Nick spent most of his childhood growing up in Auckland, New Zealand. There he studied and successfully received his Bachelor of Engineering, landing a position with Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, designing and building manufacturing machinery. He then moved to the opposite side of the globe, working for Johnson and Johnson Healthcare in Ireland, installing and commissioning production machinery. 

Needing a change and missing the sea, Nick transitioned into the yachting industry, where he joined us onboard Starfire in 2012 as the Chief Engineer. 

He now happily rotates with our other Chief Engineer, and during his time off you can find him residing in his hometown of Colorado, USA, with his wife Jesse, beautiful daughter Lydia, and their beloved dog Mia. His interests include tinkering with anything electronic (ask him about his ham radio) fishing, photography, and kite surfing.