Ben has been around or on boats since before he could walk. By the age of 16 he had sailed in the prestigious Sydney to Hobart YachtRace, sparking his interest in Southern Ocean sailing. In 1997 at age 18, Ben began sailing with his father as crew on yachts in Antarctica. Since then he has worked up to skippering both Ocean Expeditions yachts, 75-foot Australis and 48-foot Philos.z
In between working down south, Ben completed a Diploma and went on to do a design degree at University of Technology, Sydney.
Since first visiting Antarctica he has worked alongside his father to develop the company, Ocean Expeditions, which now operates in both the Arctic & Antarctic Polar Regions.
His knowledge & high latitude expertise have taken him sailing as far south as possible on the planet, whilst working on a Russian icebreaker in the Ross Sea area & East Antarctica and as far north as the Arctic Circle, whilst sailing in Greenland.
Ben has skippered & worked on several screen productions. These have included the multi-award winning TV series Serious Ocean, Winner of both BAFTA & maritime media award, as well as the BBC’s series Darwin’s dangerous idea and the soon to be released Frozen Planet series. His past clients have included a worldwide range of scientific organizations and film crews. As well as an international array of expeditioners, skiers, mountaineers, kayakers, commercial photographers, freedivers and dozens of individuals who have joined him for cruising trips.
Skye’s interest in Antarctica was sparked at 16, when she went on a Russian icebreaker to Heard Island and East Antarctica, getting a taste for sailing in the Southern Ocean. After this experience Skye followed her passion for travelling and left Australia, visiting Europe, Canada, Mexico, Tahiti & many South American Countries.
Skye graduated from Sydney University in 2005 and has been travelling extensively since then. She first worked for an adventure tourism company on an expedition ship in the summer of 2005/2006 on the Antarctic Peninsula & in South Georgia, as Hotel Manager. Skye has continued to work for the company since then in both Polar Regions, as well as Kamchatka, Russia.
In between working on the ship, Skye has crewed on yachts in the Chilean Channels, Antarctica and the Caribbean, mainly working with her partner for Ocean Expeditions and has just finished her fourth season working on the Antarctic Peninsula on yacht Australis. When Skye is not working on boats, she enjoys returning home to Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia and planning her next adventure.
Magnus has lived on and off boats for his entire life, spending most of his time in high latitudes and around the rugged coast of New Zealand. He first sailed south with his father at the age of thirteen where they cruised extensively through South Georgia, Antarctica and the Chilean fjords. Then later headed north to Canada – Newfoundland, Labrador. Since late 2007 he has worked on several charter vessels operating in the Antarctic and sub-antartic areas.
His navigational experience and wealth of knowledge exceeds his years. Combined with his ability to fix almost anything Magnus is an invaluable set of hands to have around.
Jo Stewart – Blogger & On Board Media Representative
Jo Stewart is Shackleton Epic's trusty blogger, writer and social media person working with Momentum2. Originally from Sydney but now a Melbourne local, Jo writes and takes photos for a range of print and digital media outlets including: The Age, Green Lifestyle, International Traveller and yen magazine. She is also a regular guest contributor inspiring travel blogs aimed at female adventurers, including www.girlosophy.com and shegoes.com.au. Past adventures include hiking in Morocco's High Atlas mountains, dog sledding in Canada, sailing off the coast of Kenya, horse riding in California and getting lost on foot in Joshua Tree National Park. Shackleton Epic will be her first time in Antarctica.