Captain: David Parker
I have been passionate about sailing for over 20 years. My father introduced me to the sport in the late 80s when he brought me out sailing in Cork on a “Fireball” racing dinghy. It was terrifying and I loved it!
I was hooked! Within a year or two had my very first “Mirror” Dinghy which I instantly began competing in all over Ireland. I was based out of Bray Sailing Club in Wicklow just south of Dublin.
After leaving school I was very much involved in music and had a rock band based in and around Dublin. We were good but not good enough it seemed and my love for sailing lured me away from a lifestyle of rock and or roll!
From there I managed to persuade some incredibly enthusiastic gentlemen from one of the yacht clubs in Dublin to let me take their race boat single handed around Ireland in a bid to break the “Around Ireland Single Handed Record.”
Unfortunately I didn't quite make it but the experience was enough to further fuel my passion for being on the ocean.
Next I was offered a job running a 20 meter sailing boat based in Ireland. I jumped at the chance and loved the challenge as this was a completely different side of professional sailing and presented totally new obstacles. I ran this boat for one year and cruised the south and west coasts of Ireland extensively.
I then went to New Zealand and worked on the build of the Telefonica entry into the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race. The boat was cutting edge performance and on completion was one of the fastest monohull racing boats in the world.
After the build I stayed at the shipyard and was hired as Engineer on a high performance 30 meter sailing yacht. I stayed with that program for two years cruising the North Island of New Zealand before shipping the boat back to Europe where we competed in several regattas in the UK before sailing south and into the Mediterranean.
About four years after leaving Ireland I went back to Galway but this time with a Volvo 70 race boat to refit with a dream of competing in the Volvo Ocean Race.
It was not to be, never the less I got a great bunch of young sailors and friends and we managed a little European tour with the boat, this included a pretty random trip to the Frankfurt car show as the boat had been chartered by Volvo cars for the week. Anyway the logistics for that were phenomenal and I relished the challenge and the excitement of it all.
I eventually finished up on “Green Dragon” in Alicante and headed back to Ireland which lasted only a couple of weeks before coming to work as the Mate on Dark Shadow last season. I had a great time last year with some fantastic people and I am very much looking forward to this summer and my new role as captain.
Chef/Steward: Trina Amberger
Trina hails from Auckland, NZ and has spent her career working in the Hospitality Industry within New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Initially training as a Chef, she later followed her desire for more one on one contact with the guest and has since worked in and managed many upmarket and award-winning bars, restaurants and hotels.
Trina has a keen interest in Old World Wines and has gained a Sommelier Qualification from the renowned Court of Master Sommeliers, her thirst for further knowledge along with her love of the water, cooking and all things European helped cement her decision for a sea-change last summer.
Trina has a healthy approach to food and loves the simple, clean flavours of Mediterranean cuisine, she is very understanding of any dietary needs or requirements you may have and looks forward to making your stay on Dark Shadow a memorable one.
First Mate: Matt
Matt has been sailing for 15 years, starting in the cold waters of the UK and more recently the warmer waters of the Caribbean, Panama and Pacific. From a young age Matt has been an adventurous individual completing numerous hiking expeditions as his passion for the outdoors grew. Aged 16 he started sailing and instantly fell in love with the sea. From there he trained every winter in England on high performance Dinghies, Catamarans and Windsurfs. For the summer of 2004/2005 he taught clients to sail on Yachts in Greece enabling them to charter boats unaided and up to 50ft in length. The following year he joined the 12 Metre Regatta crew in St Maarten as skipper of KC II, performing match races and re-living the success of the 12 Meter Class in the Americas Cup. In 2008, Matt started working on a 42m Ketch as 2nd Engineer/Deckhand. In the 2 years that he spent on board he learnt key servicing and maintenance skills and is now working hard towards a career in Yacht Engineering.
Mate and Tender Driver
Ed began sailing as a young boy in the temperamental airs of the disused quarry pits of southern England. After a youth filled with recreational and competitive sailing and various other aquatic pursuits he went off to study mechanical engineering. Finally deciding to follow his passion for yachting and the ocean by forging a career
To date Ed has held various positions on many yachts from
first mate on a 50m luxury sailing ketch to spending last season racing and maintaining an 11m foiling race yacht.
Ed looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm and expertise in yachting with you as another adventure begins aboard Dark Shadow.
Alix - Mate
Alix grew up in South of France and has been sailing since she's young with her father. Later she studied law, but her passion for the sea decided her to become a professional sailor. Since 2007, she worked as a skipper on different kind of boats, for charters and deliveries. She has been sailing in the carribean, on the french and spanish atlantic coast, but mostly in Mediterranean sea. She also crossed the Atlantic 3 times, once on an old three mast ship, and twice on the maxi ketch Steinlager who became famous when she was skippered by Peter Blake who won the Withbread Round the World Race in 1990. Now the great opportunity to work on Dark Shadow as a mate was given to her. Alix is also passionated by kitesurfing and scuba diving.