Meet the HEADNORTH Team

Alan Chambers MBE FRGS (Expedition Leader)

Polar Explorer Alan Chambers MBE FRGS has been to the North Pole 12 times. He spent 16 years as a Royal Marine Commando, trained as a Parachutist, Diver and Paramedic and operated in Jungle, Desert, Arctic and Urban environments. In 2000 he led the first British Team unsupported to the Geographical North Pole from Canada, over 1,000km in 70 days.

He has led 11 further teams to the Geographic North Pole, and has also led expeditions to the South Pole across Antarctica, and Coast to Coast across Greenland. He spent 5 years training and living with the Inuit Eskimos in the North West Territories of Canada, and launched the UK's largest education based expedition in 2008.

Through Polar expeditions, Alan has raised £5 million for charities. He is currently brand ambassador for the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign and also works as a motivational speaker. Alan was awarded the MBE in 2000 for effective leadership in constant adversity.

Gary Wright

Co-Founder and Chairman of Y.CO, The Yacht Company, Gary Wright has over 30 years’ experience in yachting. Gary was one of the youngest superyacht Captains in the world, and for 25 years captained some of the world’s most important and high-profile private yachts. In addition, he managed the construction of many iconic superyacht projects.

Gary is one of the masterminds behind Y.CO, the challenger brand of the superyacht industry. Launched in 2004, Y.CO specialises in yacht sales, purchase, charter, management, new construction and refit from superyacht hubs worldwide.

From 2000-2003, Gary acted as CEO for a US America’s Cup Challenge team in the 31st Americas Cup, where he oversaw all team activity in the three years leading up to the race.

Gary is passionate about corporate social responsibility, and the Y.CO team has so far raised over €1,000,000 for charity. Gary regularly undertakes marathons and other extreme challenges for charity.

Charlie Birkett

Co-Founder and CEO of Y.CO, Charlie Birkett began his career in yachting at the age of 16, working as a sail maker and boat builder. He went on to race sailboats professionally in the UK and the USA before working as crew on superyachts. He met Y.CO Co-Founder Gary Wright in 1997, when both were working on the 59m Feadship Calixe.

Charlie co-founded Y.CO in 2004, and has since then developed the brand into a globally renowned name in yachting, recognised and trusted by some of the most important people in the world. Bright, modern and dynamic, full of ideas and innovations, Y.CO takes a fresh approach, symbolised by its signature yellow. It is known as the challenger brand of the superyacht industry.

Charlie’s previous charity achievements include trekking across Norway, also with Gary Wright and Yves Damette, following the footsteps of the Heroes of Telemark.

Yves Damette

Yves Damette is one of the most respected and experienced yacht management professionals in the industry. He began his yachting career over 20 years ago and worked onboard superyachts at every level before becoming Captain, a position which he held for over five years.

He joined Y.CO in 2009 as Director Yacht Management. Y.CO is at the forefront of yacht management, and has pioneered leading innovations to enhance yacht operations. Y.CO has masterminded technological innovations that have changed the face of superyacht management. Y.CO created the first bespoke online management software, Y.CO Live (launched 2010), giving Owners and Captains real-time access to every element of a yacht’s administration at the touch of a button. Y.CO Live is used on the world’s most significant vessels.

Yves’ previous charity initiatives include trekking across Norway and cycling the notorious Mont Ventoux, one of the hardest climbs of the Tour de France.

Danny Grewcock MBE

After 10 years and 229 appearances for Bath Rugby, Danny Grewcock MBE retired from the game in 2010. A Test Lion in Australia in 2001 and New Zealand in 2005, Danny also won 69 caps for England and was one of the most respected players in the game.

His new role within the Club sees him working alongside the younger players as Academy Director. He takes overall responsibility for the coaching and organisation of the senior Academy, setting up and developing of the junior Academy programme, developing closer links with the surrounding schools and improving the recruitment and talent identification of young players.

Josh Lewsey MBE

Former World Cup Winner, Lion and Army Officer, Josh Lewsey MBE has also worked in the business sector for 15 years leading and consulting on various strategic change projects, most notably with PwC and Citigroup.

He is now Head of Rugby for Wales, leading on strategy and structuring of the Elite and Community game on behalf of the executive board. However, he'd prefer to be known for his other passions: country music, farming, local produce and generally mucking about outside.

Lewis Moody MBE

Lewis Moody MBE is a former England rugby captain, winning 71 caps during an international career spanning over a decade. Lewis has won every piece of silverware on the international stage, including the Rugby World Cup in 2003. With his club side Leicester, Lewis also won every domestic trophy including 7 Premiership titles and 2 European Cups.

Since retiring through injury in 2012, Lewis has launched his own charitable foundation, which supports young families facing life-threatening or serious illnesses, as well as funding research via The Brain Tumour Charity. Lewis also coaches the next generation of rugby talent with his Maddog sports coaching company.

James Nightingale

James Nightingale is a Royal Marine who was injured by a gunshot wound whilst on operations in Afghanistan. He is currently working hard on his rehabilitation with the Hasler Company in Plymouth. James was a member of the British cycling team during the recent Invictus games.