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Meet the crew

Jelte Liebrand
CEO ⦿ Founder

Jelte took part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race in 2014. He had plenty of sailing experience, but racing from San Francisco to New York was quite a bit different from anything he’d done before. Sailing thousands of miles off-shore, he learnt how difficult navigation can be. Updating charts, downloading weather forecasts, predicting boat speed, avoiding squalls with 50+ knots of wind; it all took hours and hours below deck, plotting courses on a computer whilst hanging on at a 45 degree heel. Jelte became convinced there should be an easier way.

He spent two years researching and building the foundation for savvy navvy and in July 2017 he left his job at Google to get his vision of easy, safe navigation out to every sailor on the water.


Kevin O'Neill
Commercial Director

Kevin and Jelte go back 18 years, when they worked together for Symbian, creating the mobile operating system of the (then) future.

Having travelled the world for work and pleasure and worked in many industries for large companies, Kevin realised that what he really likes is working in small teams where he can be really hands-on and make a meaningful contribution. So when Jelte explained his vision for savvy navvy, Kevin jumped onboard immediately.

He has broad business experience including energy, chemicals, hardware and software. He especially enjoys interacting with customers of many lands and solving new problems. He is also a textbook neophyte sailor who looks forward to testing the company yacht. We haven’t told him we haven’t got one yet.


Camilla Ransom
Sailing Growth Hacker

Camilla too was part of the old Symbian crew, where she worked closely with both Jelte and Kevin for many years.

She started sailing at a very young age, spending the long summer months with her parents living on a yacht in Greece. Originally from London, she moved to Amsterdam to take on a Head of Product role at TomTom and it was here that her passion for sailing was rekindled. In 2015 she bought a boat, in 2017 she competed in the Fastnet Race, and she’s now working towards her RYA Yachtmaster and Cruising Instructor certifications.

“I’m really excited about the mission of savvy navvy and thrilled to be a part of the team. Route planning is unnecessarily complex and it takes up so much (valuable sailing!) time. There really has to be a better way, and we’re going to find it”.


Sarah Birkby
Marketing & PR Advisor

Sarah met Jelte 20 years ago on a snowboarding trip to the Alps. She is a hardened land lover, who has decided to be brave and leave the relative safety of the Buckinghamshire countryside and get out on the sea. Occasionally.

So far she’s made it to a kayak on Loch Lomond; admired Storm Brian from the comfort of Lymington Harbour and sipped the odd glass of something bubbly in the harbours of the French Riviera.

With over 20 years’ experience in pr, marketing and business development, Sarah is passionate about communication; reaching out to customers and building relationships - particularly through live events.

As a novice sailor she’s keen to ensure that savvy navvy talks to customers in an open, approachable and understandable way that reflects the fresh approach the team is bringing to the technology.


Tim Jones
Senior UX Designer

Tim and Jelte worked together at Google My Business; the team that helps put businesses on Google Maps.

He has been sailing since his teens when he learnt to sail a dinghy on the Firth of Forth in a force 8. He has crewed regularly on a concrete 40ft yacht out of Pin Mill, Ipswich and now has his own sailing canoe.

I’m interested in how technology can help navigation for the small boat sailor inshore and this is why I’m passionate about our product. I’ve worked in app and web design for 15 years and am a trained cartographer. I met Jelte at Google and decided to help make a difference for those who love to get on the water.


Tom Döhler
Senior Engineer

Tom grew up in land-locked Eastern Germany and although he had never stepped foot on a yacht, he’d been a budding kite surfer for many years. But that all changed in 2013 whilst living in Amsterdam working at Amazon Web Services.

It was Camilla who suggested, after getting fed up of standing on cold, wet, windy beached during the Dutch “summers”, that they try a weekend on the water.

It was love at first sail (much to the relief of Camilla!). Once they’d bought their yacht, they decided in 2016 to move south to sunny Barcelona where they could spend more time sailing.

In 2017 they competed in five offshore races culminating in the infamous Rolex Fastnet Race. If you ever need advice on how to combat seasickness, Tom’s your man.

Having experienced first hand, both as a racer and a cruiser, the complexities of navigation, he jumped at the opportunity to bring route planning into the twenty-first century.