s/y Marie - star of the sea



S/Y Marie Crew Profiles

Captain Wes Cooper - sy Marie
CAPTAIN - 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
CAPTAIN - 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 is excited about future travels with guests and crew. He is also eager to check out Marie’s reputation for reeling in those superstar catches of Tuna, Mahi and Wahoo.  His taste buds are awakened, and he knows that his favorite sushi and sashimi are not far away.

Jeff Rust - engineer sy Marie
ENGINEER - Jeff Rust

Hailing from South Australia, Jeff spent his youth in the water or at the beach sailing dinghies and windsurfing. He later graduated to racing keelboats and participated in club racing and blue water racing, including participating in the famous Sydney to Hobart Race in 1998.

During the same year he bought his own 30-ft. keelboat, living onboard and sailing around much of Australia from the West Coast through the Bass Straight and up the East Coast of Australia to Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands. In order to support his sailing habit he utilized his electrical training working in high-rise buildings, installing lift shafts. Next he took his versatile trade experience to work in mines and then on submarines.

Jeff's duties aboard the submarines involved commissioning electrical systems and interfacing them with hydraulic and pneumatic systems, as well as calibrating instruments and gauges before they could be handed over to the Navy. Yet being below water on a full-time basis just didn't feel right so in 2000 he obtained his Dive Master certification and made the move to the Great Barrier Reef to work on dive boats. 

Following that experience Jeff was introduced to the superyacht industry via a friend and made the move to the other side of the world where he started working as a Marine engineer on motor yachts. The move not only provided him with a new career but also a wife! In Florida, he met Kristin and got married. Since then they have both been working and traveling together, spending many years working on yachts that cruised extensively in the Caribbean, Bahamas and East Coast of the States. Jeff took some time to obtain his Yacht Master and official Engineering licenses.

Jeff is very excited to be part of the Marie crew and relishes the challenge of trouble shooting and keeping everything running smoothly, whilst also getting to enjoy some world class sailing onboard.

BOSUN - Tom Hollyholmes
FIRST MATE - Tom Hollyhomes


Tom was born and raised in Norwich, England. Hailing from a family of pilots, he spent his early years surrounded by aircraft. Flying planes seemed like the natural career path to follow until he discovered sailing. 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 young age of 18 and was off to Turkey to work as a sailing instructor with Sunsail.

Tom is also an accomplished Divemaster. He spent time on the Eastern side of Thailand, on the island of Koh Tao giving guided dives throughout the area. Naturally his path has lead him to the Superyacht world, from Southeast Asia, to the Mediteranean and to the Caribbean. He is extremely happy to be a part of the Marie team, especially alongside his partner Gioia Gracis. He is eager to race, sail and explore, and most of all have fun.

DECKHAND - Gioia Gracis
DECKHAND - 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.

CHEF - Tammy Ayers

Tammy began her sailing adventure 15 years ago while traveling across the Caribbean on her parent’s boat. She is a native of Seattle, Washington where she attended sailing school at The Seattle Sailing Club. She has sailed throughout the Greater Puget Sound and around Vancouver Island, Canada. During her five-year career as a yacht chef, Tammy has ventured throughout the Bahamas, Caribbean, both east and west coasts of the US, Alaska and the Mediterranean.

Tammy attended culinary school at The Art Institute of Seattle in 2003 and has been working as a chef ever since. She was fortunate enough to receive training from various Master chefs and demonstrates a true passion for cooking. Her skills have been challenged on various boats with dietary restrictions and difficult provisioning, yet she continues to provide excellent meals for both the guests and crew. She is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the happiness of those onboard.

Although her yachting career has segued to sailing yachts, it did not start there. Her first three boats were power yachts until she discovered the treasure of the sailing community, where she has discovered her true passion. Now aboard SY Marie, she is a part of the crew and the exciting aspects of the racing circuit.

Tammy likes to stay active and enjoys exploring the new places they travel to by hiking, biking or running.

Kristin Rust - stewardess sy Marie

Kristin was born in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and for her, the “yachting capital of America” is still very much home. At an early age she developed a love for travel and exploration.  Every summer afforded an exciting cross country trip or camping expedition in the canyons of New Mexico and Utah, up to the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Virginia, or round the Great Lakes and the Big Horn Mountains of Canada.

A family holiday in Europe piqued her interest to study art and design. She spent several years studying Interior Design and Theatrical Art Design at Florida State University, where she earned her Masters Degree in Set Design for Theatre. Her studies included two semesters in London with an apprenticeship painting for popular West End productions. Back home she found her niche painting sets for such productions as "The Music Man" and "Grease" in various theaters across the eastern seaboard.

Back home, she met an Aussie named Jeff and he led her into a career that promised more travel and exploration than theatre ever would. The two have been working together on many different yachts for the last ten years, mainly sailing the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and East Coast of the United States.

In her prior job as sole stewardess aboard the Bosarge family's other sailing yacht, Tenacious, she became an integral part of the build project of Marie. She is proud to have been part of such an amazing endeavor from the start and once again her interior design skills were fully utilized when it came to the organization and development of the interior. Kristin and Emma collaborate, both bringing a complementary set of skills and qualities to their jobs.  They will take care of all the details both big and small, allowing you to concentrate on nothing more than enjoying relaxing and being pampered.

Kristin Rust - stewardess sy Marie
Georgia Fazekas

Despite being born in landlocked Nottingham, smack in the middle of England, Georgia, has always had a flair for adventure and travel.  She moved to Falmouth in Cornwall in South West England to study Natural History and Marine Photography and thus began her love affair with the sea and sailing. She thoroughly embraced the sailing community in Falmouth, taking part in local working boat races and even spending time dredging for oysters.

She graduated from university at the tender age of 20, to pursue her passion for underwater studies and photography. A trip to the Red Sea and Egypt provided her with the perfect environment for diving, snorkeling, and photography. Further travels led her to develop an appetite for other sports including waterskiing, rowing, as well as hiking and cycling.  She is always keenly engaged with her physical surroundings and likes to keep active wherever she is.  

Georgia’s wanderlust has propelled her to travel around Europe where she has extensively explored Austria, the French Riviera, coastal Spain, and the Balearic Islands—by foot! After her European walkabout, she joined the Yachting Industry—spending time in both the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

You will see Georgia’s personality shine in everything she does.  She is happy to be a part of the Marie team, and she looks forward to making your stay onboard a memorable one.