Tim Barker – Upstairs Skipper
Tim started sailing at the age of seven at the Ranelagh Sailing Club on the River Thames at Putney crewing on National 12’s and Merlin Rockets. In his teens he raced Cadets and then migrated to racing keelboats in the Solent and offshore. He bought his first yacht Mina, a Gibsea 312 in 1994 in which he cruised the south coast, West Country, Scilly Isles, Channel Islands and Brittany.
Retiring in 2003 from a career in investment management specifically to spend more time sailing, he bought Mina2 , a cutter-rigged Oyster 485. Since then Tim has skippered Mina2 on her various cruises, accompanied by family and friends.
Tim and the Downstairs Skipper have two children, Selina aged 33 and Peter aged 31.
Maria Barker – Downstairs Skipper
Born in Argentina, Maria came to the UK in 1974 and married the Upstairs Skipper in 1978. She cut her sailing teeth cruising with Tim and his parents in the cold waters of the English Channel in the mid-70’s when she developed her hatred of cold, rough, windy conditions and long passages. However, she loves being on the boat for coastal cruising – particularly in warmer climes – and she rules her downstairs domain with a rod of iron.