s/y Marie - star of the sea



S/Y Marie Crew Profiles

Captain Wes Cooper - sy Marie
Wes Cooper

Captain Wes Cooper hails from New Zealand. His career in yachting has been a natural evolution.  He spent his youth participating in competitive dinghy sailing while he trained as a shipwright. He obtained his Master Shipwright Certificate after completing a full apprenticeship in Auckland. He then went down to the South Island to pursue his other passion—skiing. Eventually, after several back-to-back winters between the US and NZ, he decided to hang up his snow boots and over a period of six years, created a boat building business in Wanaka, NZ. At age 29 he flew to the other side of the world to pursue a career on the ocean.

For the last ten years, he has been aboard sailing yachts and has enjoyed over 150,000 miles spent blue water cruising in different parts of the world. He spent six years captaining a 38-meter ketch in the Fjords of Norway and Scotland's outer islands and then spent a couple of years navigating in Captain Cook’s wake through French Polynesia, Fiji and the Pacific. From then on the yachts got steadily bigger, culminating in his being First Officer and Sail Master aboard the world’s second largest privately owned Triple Masted Gaff Rigged Schooner, the 90-meter S/Y Athena. Now, as skipper of S/Y Marie, Wes has found his perfect yacht--and the perfect fit for his passions.

Spare time is a rare commodity for a Captain but when he does get the chance, Wes loves any opportunity to refresh his Commercial Helicopter Pilot's license and get up in the sky!

Wes is looking forward to welcoming future guests onboard Marie, providing them with a safe, yet exhilarating cruise wherever their fancy takes them.

CAPTAIN - Jim Livingston
Jim Livingston
(sharing rotational captain's position)

Jim’s home is in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado. The town serves him well and he can find all his favorite pastimes just a stone’s throw away. He is an avid skier and so fortunately for him, his house is merely a short walk to the ski lift.  You will also find him hiking in the mountains, riding motorcycles and fly-fishing.

Jim grew up in Arizona and Colorado, but as a young man was drawn to the sea.  After attending university in Tucson, he headed east to become a boat builder. A few years in Maine were enough to convince him to move on to more tropical climes.  His route south began in the Caribbean.  Initially he went to rebuild a boat, which, after completion, offered him the chance to stay on as the engineer. His next port of call was Tortola in the stunning British Virgin Islands, where he took on the challenge of running a bareboat charter base.  The following years Jim spent in New Zealand where he built composite racing yachts. Then finally he took the leap and entered the all-consuming industry of yachting. The nomadic lifestyle suited him well and he quickly and confidently climbed the ranks from Mate and Engineer to Captain. 

Life on yachts has taken him as far north as the Norwegian Fjords, and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope, from the Western Pacific to the Eastern Indian Ocean on Expedition type motor yachts and large sailing yachts. After thirteen years helming Super Yachts, Jim is now perfectly placed onboard the wonderful modern classic Marie. He’s a keen fisherman, and always eager to get a line in the water, helping to supply Marie with a fresh Tuna, Mahi, or Wahoo. His taste buds are awakened, and he knows that his favorite sushi and sashimi are not far away.

Jeff Rust - engineer sy Marie
Christopher Boogers


Born and raised in Queensland, Australia, Chris spent a lot of his youth at the beach. Surfing from a young age, this is still a hobby he loves along with other water board sports.

Apart from the sea, Chris is also passionate about Volkswagen Combi Vans. To date, he has owned and restored three of these old beauties. His most recent accomplishment is a 1976 ‘pop top’ model, in which he and Jasmin toured the East Coast of Australia for four months.

Chris completed his Plumbing and Gas fitting apprenticeship before moving to the UK. He lived in Edinburgh and worked in this field until he heard about snowboarding and the French Alps. Working as a site manager suited his hands- on skills. Chris spent two seasons working in the Alps. Not content to stay in one place, Chris looked to broaden his travel prospects by starting in the super yacht industry as a deckhand—toolbox in hand.

It wasn’t long before he took the engineering route and worked his way up to Chief Engineer. Chris has worked on numerous high-end sailing yachts, and is looking forward to sailing and racing on SY Marie.

BOSUN - Tom Hollyholmes
Tom Hollyhomes


Tom was born and raised in Norwich a historic city on the east coast of England. Hailing from a family of pilots, he spent his early years surrounded by aircraft. Tom learned how to sail on the lakes near to his home and around the North Sea. It became more and more obvious that sailing would become more than just a hobby, but a well chosen career. Tom completed his Yacht Master qualification at the age of 18 and was off to Turkey to work as a sailing instructor with Sunsail. This gave him a solid foundation in both instructional confidence on the water as well as key maintenance skills required for the fleet of 10 sailing yachts he managed. As another way to round his experience Tom became an accomplished Divemaster. He spent time in Eastern Thailand, on the island of Koh Tao giving guided dives throughout the area. The next progressive step was to further his career in the world of superyachts. Since then Tom has worked on both Motor and Sailing yachts of ranging sizes with varying programs. This experience has culminated in Tom’s employment with his partner Gioia Gracis on Sailing Yacht Marie. Tom loves watersports and spends his free time kitesurfing and exploring the exciting places he’s lucky enough to experience with Sailing Yacht Marie. Since starting his career Tom has logged thousands of miles at sea and holds a UK chief mate licence including multiple courses in advanced safety subjects such as fire fighting, first aid and Navigation. Tom along with the rest of the crew onboard love to meet new people and share the exciting array of activities and watersports Marie has to offer.

DECKHAND - Gioia Gracis
Gioia Gracis

Gioia was born and raised with sailing in her blood. Coming from an adventurous Italian family, she was born in Grenada, in the Caribbean. She spent her early years growing up in Antigua around sailing, sun, and the sea. Her adventuresome family seeking a new cultural experience decided to sail to Cuba where they settled for the next 5 years. Then upon discovering Mexico, her parents then decided to settle there, and this is still where they call home. Completing college with honors in Communications and Humanities, and being fluent in 3 languages, she decided to depart for a new adventure.

Being a natural traveler Gioia discovered the super yacht industry, combining her love of sailing with exploring and meeting great people. Her first impulse, coming from an Italian family, was to become a chef, so she decided to further her qualifications with The Gables School of Cookery. Since then she has worked as chef and stewardess, making her way on deck where she is able to pursue her passion for sailing while working side by side with her partner Thomas Hollyhomes. She has now obtained her Yacht Masters qualification.

In her spare time Gioia enjoys creative tasks such as working with leather and knitting, as well as diving, hiking and exploring new areas.

Jemma Harrison

Growing up in rural Lincolnshire in England, Jemma embarked on her catering career at the tender age of 15 with a part time job at an award-winning local restaurant. She continued working in restaurants while at University and Graduate school. With a BS degree in Geology and a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she started out with career as a music journalist for the BBC.

The travel bug got to her, so she left the UK to work in high-end chalets in the French and Swiss Alps. Continuing to work in catering, Jemma travelled extensively around Europe, South East Asia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China and Australasia taking cookery lessons from locals wherever possible.

Jemma has been a professional yacht chef for the last 7 years working in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and India. Her food repertoire is extensive and she loves nothing more than mixing it up in the galley—experimenting and fusing different food styles. Jemma is at home preparing an elegant dinner for two or a feast for two thousand. 

Jemma’s other passions are music and snowboarding. While she cannot indulge her snowboarding craze onboard, one can often hear her singing in the galley. Also, in her spare time, Jemma runs a successful beanie and knitwear business. Starting off as a social enterprise, her entrepreneurial company employs 8 ‘grannies’ in addition to a factory to make hats. When the weather gets cold, you can often see the Marie crew kitted out in her lovely creations. 

Kristin Rust - stewardess sy Marie
Jasmin Rutter

Jasmin grew up in a small beach town on the North Island of New Zealand.
The majority of her childhood weekends were spent on the water, either sailing with her grandparents, or waterskiing with her parents. As a teenager, she earned her Bronze Medallion at the local Surf Lifesaving Club.  

Today she still finds the ocean compelling and enjoys a wide variety of watersports, especially paddle boarding.

After graduating from University with a Bachelor of Design degree, Jaz worked in graphic design in Auckland, New York and San Francisco before taking a ‘break’ to join the superyacht world. Prior to S/Y Marie, Jasmin worked on a variety of Motor and Sailing Yachts in far-flung places from France to Fiji. She and her partner, Chris, enjoy traveling together and working together.

One way that Jasmin maintains her creative edge is by concocting inspired cocktails—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.  She was the winner of the Super Yacht World Class bartending competition in 2015, and represented the yachting industry in South Africa, competing against top bartenders from around the globe.

Her valuable experience as Chief Stewardess is of great benefit to all the guests who step aboard Marie. She makes everyone feel special. She takes great personal pleasure in making her guests feel pampered and completely at home.

Kristin Rust - stewardess sy Marie
Christine Snyder

After growing up in New York City, Chris studied film and television in Savannah, Georgia where she produced award-winning documentaries and short films that took her to the Boston Film Festival and to Sundance.

In Savannah she followed her other passion, horseback riding, where she trained at prestigious stables for international show jumping. While it is not always so easy, Chris manages to find time for horseback riding in most ports.

Her love of adventure found her pursuing the yachting industry. In a relatively short time period, Chris has clocked up over 30,000 nm including 7 Atlantic crossings.

The service side of the yachting industry comes naturally to Chris who is a self-proclaimed extrovert.  She supported herself through University by working in fine dining establishments in Savannah and New York City. Ask Chris to make her special Manhattan or Cosmopolitan Cocktail and you won’t be disappointed.

During her time off, Chris travelled to Thailand to train as a certified Ashtanga yoga instructor. Yoga keeps her grounded while sailing the world.

Chris looks forward to greeting you and helping you relax while on board Marie.

Kristin Rust - stewardess sy Marie
Luke Grierson

Born in Devon, England, Luke grew up close to the coast and spent many of his summer weekends fishing off his father's boats around the south coast. With the odd trip across the channel, Luke shortly fell in love with the idea of a life at sea.

Most of his early boating took place aboard small powerboats, so it would have seemed the logical choice would have been to choose the Motor Yacht life. Nonetheless, a chance day on a lake instigated his appreciation for sailing.

With a newfound love of sailing and a goal of working on a super yacht, Luke completed his yacht master certificate. Luke has gained valuable experience in his yachting career and so far, he hasn't looked back.

In his spare time, Luke enjoys playing golf and uses the traveling aspect of the career to try out as many courses as he can. A keen fisherman and new to diving, a lot of his free time is spent around the water enjoying all it has to offer.

Luke is very much looking forward to making your stay onboard as exciting and fun as it can be and hopes to see you soon.