NERO Yacht crew sitting on the bow of the boat.

NERO Yacht Crew

NERO boasts a dedicated captain and crew of 20, including a personal trainer, masseuse, spa staff and a Michelin Star-level culinary team. NERO’s staff are experienced yachting professionals who, in addition to their formal roles, are dedicated to providing unrivalled hospitality to all of her guests. A NERO voyage is much more than luxury yachting — it’s a holistic, opulent experience you’ll never forget.

NERO Yacht Crew

NERO boasts a dedicated captain and crew of 20, including a personal trainer, beautician, masseuse and spa staff, and a Michelin-level culinary team. NERO’s staff are experienced yachting professionals who, in addition to their formal roles, are dedicated to providing unrivalled hospitality to all her guests. A NERO voyage is much more than luxury yachting — it’s a holistic, opulent experience you’ll never forget.

Matt Pownall-Jones - NERO Captain

Master Matt Pownall-Jones

Credentials

  • Master of Yachts <3,000 GT
  • HNC Nautical Science
  • Padi Rescue Diver
  • Nitrox mixed gas technician

Previous Vessels

  • M/Y SEA & US (63m)
  • M/Y WERE DREAMS (52m)
  • M/Y LADY ANNE PB (70m)

Interests/ Other Languages

  • Property Development
  • Sailing
  • Diving
  • Cycling
Matt grew up on the Wirral, a peninsula in the UK bounded by the River Dee, the River Mersey, and the Irish Sea, so it is no surprise he was attracted to a career in the maritime environment. Matt’s youth was spent sailing at his local yacht club, racing in dinghies all around the UK coast and participating in a variety of water sports whilst exploring life at sea as a Royal Navy sea cadet. At age 16, Matt became an active volunteer of RNLI and continues to serve as a Coxswain on the local All Weather Lifeboat and Commander of The Inshore Hovercraft when at home in the UK. The rest of his time at home is happily taken up with his very supportive wife, a fisherman’s daughter, and by his four children and a boxer dog called Faith.
Matt joined the yachting industry in 1997, where he began working on small yachts and on an old Top Sail Schooner for charters around the UK. In 1999, he joined his first superyacht in Malta and has worked his way through the ranks gaining qualifications along the way. Matt qualified as a Master of Yachts in 2008 and took his first command in 2010. Passionate about education and self-development, Matt is currently studying towards his Master Unlimited through the HND Nautical Science route.
His broad experience and professional qualifications are matched by his values of loyalty and commitment as he has commanded yachts for extended periods. In his most recent role, Matt has overseen the build and successful operation of a high-calibre private and charter yacht.
Matt joined Nero to showcase his vast knowledge of cruising in The Med and Caribbean, and to exercise the exacting standards befitting the guests of such a quality superyacht, ensuring the fun side of yachting is added into the mix. He is a firm believer in teamwork and that no yacht can operate solely by the Captain. With the fantastic Chefs, Interior team, Deck team, Engineers and of course Matt at the helm, Nero is bound to be the one to remember this season.

NERO Relief Captain - David Pidgeon

NERO Relief Captain David Pidgeon

Credentials

  • Master of Commerce (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Master of Yachts <3,000 GT

Previous Vessels

  • M/Y Meamina (59m)
  • M/Y Lady Ann Magee (49m)
  • M/Y Va Bene (48m)

Relief Captain David Pidgeon was born in Auckland, New Zealand. David began sailing in his teenage years through the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Youth Training Programme. He later studied law at the University of Auckland and practiced commercial law for four years before earning a Master of Commerce degree.

David discovered the yachting industry in 2002 while in the south of France and began his career as a deckhand, eventually working up to captain. Pigeon has 15 years of charter yacht experience, including an Atlantic crossing and 2 Suez Canal to Indian Ocean crossings in armed naval convoys.

Lina Harrback – NERO Chief Stewardess

Lina Harrback

Credentials

  • Luxury Hospitality Interior Program
  • GUEST Purser Program

Previous Vessels

  • S/Y ROSEHEARTY (56m)
  • M/Y SOLO (72m)
  • M/Y SERENE (134m)

Interests/ Other Languages

  • Diving
  • Hiking
  • Snowsports
Growing up in Stockholm by the sea, it is no wonder Lina ended up in the yachting industry. She treasures childhood memories of summers spent in the Archipelago, from speeding to the ice cream shop in her little dinghy at age nine, to restoring an old wooden tall ship sailing boat at thirteen. Torn between motor and sailing yachts she has finally settled on Nero: with the engines of a motor yacht, and the masts and bowsprit of a sailing yacht, she encompasses the best of both!
In her years before yachting, she left Sweden to explore the world, and that she did. She backpacked through Asia and Latin America, volunteering on farms and at hostels along the way. She spent winters skiing in the French Alps and summers soaking up the sun in the Greek Islands. She experienced the kibbutz life in Israel and the hustle and bustle of city life in London… the list is endless.
Lina is now our passionate Chief Stewardess with a wealth of knowledge of all areas of the interior. She has mastered maintaining a spotless interior without ever being seen cleaning, making beds in the amount of time it takes a guest to drink their morning espresso, and removing stains from non-washable items. With the ability to create wonderful table displays with everyday items, she brings a lot to the table both literally and metaphorically, and can’t wait to welcome guests onboard Nero this season.

NERO Head Chef - Stephen Paskins

NERO Head Chef Stephen Paskins

Credentials

  • NVQ Level 2 in Food Preparation
  • GVVQ Foundation in Hospitality & Catering

Previous Vessels

  • M/Y LUREN L (90m)
  • M/Y IDYNASTY (100m)
  • M/Y AXIOMA (72m)

Head Chef Stephen Paskins has been a professional chef for over 20 years and has worked in acclaimed Michelin Star and AA Rosette restaurants in London for more than 18 years. For the last five years, Stephen has been busy cooking on private and chartered yachts on the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the east coast of the USA. One of his proudest achievements was winning the Genoa Boat Show cooking competition in 2018 in the large boat category.

Stephen’s dishes aren’t the only thing that packs a punch. He’s also an avid boxer, and he competed semi-professionally during his former years. Enthusiastic about food both on and off the clock, Stephen prefers to carry cooking utensils and books with him when he travels, as he considers them essential items. For him, cooking is both a profession and a lifestyle. Guests will find that his passion for the culinary arts shines through in all of his dishes.

Helena Sanguinetti - NERO Purser/ Concierge

Helena Sanguinetti

Credentials

  • GUEST Purser Program
  • MSc Nutrition
  • BSc Biology

Previous Vessels

  • M/Y ECLIPSE (162m)
  • M/Y FAITH (97m)
  • M/Y LADY LARA (91m)
  • M/Y LADY S (93m)

Interests/ Other Languages

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Listening to podcasts
Helena’s Scottish and Gibraltarian heritage, and her father in the Royal Navy, meant she grew up in an adaptable, outdoor and maritime environment. Her passion for the sea has played across many aspects of her life, from crossing the English Channel on a 27 ft sailboat to specialising in marine life during her Biology degree at St Andrew’s University.
A serious foodie with a curious mind, she studied for a Master’s degree in Nutrition at King’s College London, which she used to justify her regular exploring of the city’s restaurant scene. This led to a 2-year graduate programme at a global food company where she gained commercial experience in sales and marketing used in her Purser role today. She loves further developing her knowledge and skills with a view of the sea, while travelling around and occasionally hopping off to sample food in different parts of the world.
As someone who makes plans to make plans, she can’t wait to help organise fun-filled, memorable trips for guests onboard Nero this season.