The Contender UK Crew

Alastair Shires

Alastair has over 30 years experience with Contender Sailcloth and has worked within all aspects of the business. Having spent time in both the Australian and New Zealand markets and through maintaining a close relationship with the rest of the Contender group, Alastair has a broad technical and practical base. A keen and active sailor, Alastair has raced offshore in The Fastnet and Sydney Hobart, within one design classes such as Dragon and RS800’s and numerous regattas including The Commodores' Cup. Heading up Contender UK, Alastair concentrates on technical sales, development and customer support.

Martin Shires

With more than 55 years working with sailcloth, Martin started Contender UK in the mid-‘80’s along with his wife Carol. Martin is known and respected throughout the industry for his wealth of experience and technical background and looks after our sales and customer services.

Tim Pearse

Tim has a wealth of experience in the trade and retail arena, having helped establish leading brands such as Rooster, Zhik and Adidas Sailing within the European market. He is a life long dinghy sailor, currently concentrating on the Laser class. As genreal manager here at Contender UK, Tim focuses on technical support, marketing and purchases.

Richard Knibbs

Richard joined Contender UK to extend our commitment to technical sales, customer service, support and product development. Richard has many years experience in the technical textile industry, specialising in technical threads such as brand leaders Tenara. Richard offers invaluable technical and sales support.

Mike Palfreman

Mike has worked within both the trade and retail sectors for leading marine brands such as Sunsail, Rooster and Rigit. A lifelong sailor, Mike is regularly seen campaigning at the top of the Musto Skiff fleet. His experience and knowledge provide a sound base for his role of sales, customer service and goods inwards.

Damion Green

Damion heads up our C360˚ cutting service team. With over 15 years dedicated to providing the very best in automated cutting services, Damion is highly experienced at using our Contender C360˚ laser and blade technology and is responsible for handling our cutting and design requirements from start to finish.

Francis Savege

A former customer, Francis has previously worked extensively for the Ministry of Defence and has brought with him to Contender UK considerable experience in logistics and customer care. Francis has an excellent understanding of the practical needs of our customers and works as part of our C360˚ cutting service team.

David Leigh

Having also previously been a customer, David heads up our stores department. He understands the needs of our customers and the level of service we strive to offer. David ensures the smooth operation of all sales orders, goods in and shipments out.

Sue Hobbs

Sue has been involved in the marine industry for around 20 years and with Contender UK for over three quarters of that. Sue is often the first person you will meet, handling our reception duties, day to day administration, sales invoicing, bought ledger and general sales enquiries.

Rachael Pollard

Rachael has been with Contender for over 5 years and oversees the financial side of the company. Rachael and Sue work hard together to ensure everyone is paid on time, including us!

Ann White

Having previously worked as a machinist in the sail and cover making industry, Ann joined Contender UK over 15 years ago, bringing with her invaluable product experience and knowledge to the store team. Ann looks after goods in and orders, specifically those with a hardware bias.

Ewan Green

The youngest member of Contender UK, Ewan joined the Contender C360˚ cutting team in 2015 on an apprenticeship. Progressing rapidly and with his ever broadening knowledge base, Ewan's diligent approach helps us ensure all cutting jobs are undertaken and presented to the customer to the highest standards.

Please do not hesitate to contact Alastair Shires, Tim Pearse, Richard Knibbs or Mike Palfreman to discuss your specific needs.