Who we are

Stefan Fritz

Stefan is a commercially qualified skipper, marine surveyor and engineer. He is joint owner of ‘Lady of Avenel’ and has been sailing tall ships around Britain and Northern Europe for nearly twenty years. He has a particularly good knowledge of the Western Isles of Scotland and the Thames Estuary. Stefan has run, owned or been involved with boat building and repair businesses for many years and was part of the team who re-rigged the restored ‘Cutty Sark’. He and his wife Julie own and live on a working Dutch sailing barge, the most recent of several houseboats he has lived on. Stefan has skippered a number of different vessels with groups of people including managers from industry and cancer patients and he has great experience in running a ship with inexperienced crew. He is a keen runner, open water swimmer, cyclist, arctic dogsledder, a skier and he recently bought a microlight. He has taken part twice in the Three Peaks Yacht Race with Charles and has competed in a number of triathlons. Stefan is of course a son, but he did not get to know his father as well as he would have liked.

Charles Lyster

Charles is a summer and winter mountain leader, canoe coach and commercial skipper with 30 years experience of working with groups in the outdoors. He worked for Outward Bound in Wales and Zimbabwe where he was Chief Instructor of the Chimanimani Outward Bound School for a year. He set up and for 16 years ran the charity ‘Odyssey’ which uses adventure to enhance quality of life for adults with cancer. Charles is a runner, sailor, furniture maker, boatbuilder, first aid trainer, climber, skier and lover of adventure who has travelled and climbed in wild parts of Europe, Africa and South America. He has two boats, a small traditional boat he built ten years ago and a 1930 classic yacht, ‘Driac’ which he is gradually restoring between sailing adventures. He lives in a 500 year old house he restored in Herefordshire with his wife Catherine and their son and daughter. His father died 25 years ago and he wishes he had spent more time with him.

Other Staff

There will be a third crew member on each trip drawn from a pool of experienced and enthusiastic sailors and adventurers whose company we enjoy; these crew members will vary from voyage to voyage.