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Meet the team.


Mark Gardner

Volvo Ocean Race Service Manager / UK Custom Project and Service Manager

Base: Harken UK

Background: Mark is responsible for managing the Harken Technical Service Team at each of the Volvo Ocean Race stops to ensure gear is performing flawlessly. Other responsibilities include custom and grand-prix project management, organizing UK regatta and technical support, and providing grand-prix and superyacht technical support to Harken customers worldwide. Mark joined Harken in 2006. 


Massimiliano Ronchetti (Max)

Technical Service

Base: Harken Italy

Background: Max provides technical support and service for superyacht and TP2’s during the international regatta season. He is an experienced America’s Cup technician, and used his considerable technical expertise to support the Volvo fleet in in the 2008-2009 race. He became Technical Service Manager of the Harken Volvo Service team during the 2011-12 iteration. Max joined Harken Italy in 2005.


Craig Blazer

Technical Service

Base: Harken USA

Background: Craig has been an important player in Harken winch development and installation since the company acquired Barbarossa (now Harken Italy) in 1986. He has assisted engineers with carbon fiber winch and pedestal development for the America’s Cup since 1995, and has installed and serviced winches at Volvo Ocean Race stops back when this iconic race was called ‘The Whitbread’. Craig is working with the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard group during the 2017-18 race, while continuing his job as a Tech service specialist for Harken. Craig joined Harken in 1978.

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Neil Evans

Technical Service

Base: Harken USA

Background: Neil manages regatta support for major U.S. race events including the Newport to Bermuda, Chicago to Mackinac, Key West Race Week, and Block Island Race Week. He oversees the in-house training of Harken distributors and dealers and also instructs in a number of Harken’s “Asked & Answered” technical videos. The 2017 Volvo Ocean Race is Neil’s third, and his 2nd as part of Harken’s international pit crew that works in the Boatyard servicing the fleet. Neil Joined Harken in 1997.


Callum Cecil

Technical Service / National Sales

Base: Harken Australia

Background: A knowledgeable and practiced expert on the maintenance of racing winches and deck hardware, Callum was a member of the tech team during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean race. His other responsibilities at Harken Australia include project management of the office’s Supermaxi, Mini-Maxi, and TP52 accounts. Callum joined Harken Australia in 2014.


Alun Hughes

Technical Service

Base: Harken UK

Background: Alun is an expert on the installation and maintenance of Harken racing winches and pedestal systems. He attends all the major UK regattas and works directly with the boat captains of the UK Fast 40 fleet, taking care of all upgrades and servicing. Alun also handles refits for the Clipper 70 fleet, Metre classes, and UK superyachts. Alun joined Harken UK in 2008.


Pietro Schiaffonati

Technical Service

Base: Harken Italy

Background: Pietro provides comprehensive technical service and consulting support to some of the world’s most important shipyards and international regattas. His portfolio of skills includes winch and hardware installation for custom maxi yachts as well as racing boats like TP52s. Pietro was part of the service team at the Cape Town stopover in the 2013-14 Volvo Ocean Race. He joined Harken Italy in 2011.