The 2017 Season Excelsior Crew

Meet our 2017 seasons crew who sailed Excelsior, headed up by our skipper, Gavin. You can also see our 2016 and 2015 crews. To find out who is sailing Excelsior this year visit the main Crew page.

Our much loved skipper Gavin

Our much loved skipper, Gavin

Skipper – Gavin Taylor

Gavin has worked up through the ranks in Sail Training over the past decade, and is dedicated to coaching and the development of young people and his crew. Working over the years with many different types of people of varying ages and backgrounds he has exceptional people skills and an innate ability to draw the best out of anyone. He was the skipper of the classic racing yawl Duet, who he took through the famous Fastnet race, until he came to skipper Excelsior in 2014. Gavin is a Yachtmaster Instructor and can help those working towards RYA qualifications. He has a certificate in Coastal Leadership and is passionate about environmental sustainability and connecting people to their natural surroundings. He is also passionate about the history and culture of our Maritime Heritage and the preservation of the traditional skills involved.

Karol Petryka – Credit Betty Sederquist – September 2016

Mate – Karol Petryka

Karol graduated from an unpronounceable maritime university in Poland, and has worked on all kinds of ships all around the world – from container ships to superyachts. He was previously the boatswain on the Polish brig-rigged Fryderyk Chopin, a Sail Training tall ship. He has extensive mechanical and rigging knowledge and is always happy to teach what he knows. Karol also used to be in a well-known choir, and can sing many traditional sea shanties. He has been with Excelsior since 2015.

Credit Will Paterson 2017

Boatswain – Vincent Vigo-di-Gallidoro

Vinny was born and raised in Lowestoft, just like Excelsior herself, and first became involved with Excelsior as part of his work with the Princes Trust. His background with the Princes Trust has made him particularly good at working with disadvantaged teens. He has been with Excelsior since 2016.

Regular Volunteer – Bob Lampert

Bob first came to Excelsior decades ago as a teacher leading a school trip, and he has been volunteering for her winter maintenance schedule and as a deckhand ever since. He has many woodworking skills, and sailing experience from taking both Excelsior and his own little boat all around the UK and Europe. He has a very, very dry sense of humour.

Deckie Will hanging about

Regular Volunteer -Will Paterson

Will has been volunteering in UK Sail Training since he was twelve, and has sailed on almost all of the Sail Training ships. He comes back to Excelsior every year, and knows her and her rig very well. He is passionate about everything about historic ships, and can teach everything about rigging and splicing and caulking and pitching that you’d want to know.

Regular Volunteer -Anton Middleton

Anton is a shipwright by trade, and has been on and off Excelsior for many years. He has past experience with other historic ships, notably as a hand on board the replica of the Endeavour as she redid her original journey under Captain Cook. He built Excelsior’s current mizzenmast, and is restoring his own little historic boat to take her around the Norfolk broads.

Credit – Betty Sederquist

Regular Volunteer -Seraphina Goldfarb-Tarrant

Seraphina comes from a sailing family, and has been sailing modern boats since she was little. She always wanted to sail a historic wooden ship, and after a month on Excelsior she gave up her other plans and stayed for the whole season. Seraphina has a passion for sailing history, and finds Excelsior to be unique in how accurately she is historically maintained.

Regular Volunteer -Max Yuill-McEwan

Max is a mental-health worker, and first sailed on Excelsior when he organised bringing a group aboardas part of their recovery program. He has been helping out ever since, and has uncommon grit and skills with rehabilitation programs.


Read more about the other brilliant people who work behind the scenes to make the Excelsior Trust great.