Marsport - The big little company!
With our global reputation for boat design and manufacture, combined with our busy and successful reading shop - you may be surprised to find out we're still run by a relatively small team of staff. Marsport was established back in 1981. For over 35 years, Paul Ralph and Cherry Bapty built it from humble beginnings to a company with a world wide reputation.
In early 2016, Paul and Cherry stepped down as directors to take a well earned retirement, but still come back to help out with events, holiday cover and to design the occasional boat for us. Let's be honest - after 35 years, they're never going to leave it alone!
Our current staff team are as follows:
Craig Hill: Managing Director
Craig has been with the shop for so long he's practically been adopted. He started paddling with Adventure Dolphin in 1987 and has dabbled with pretty much every discipline out there. Pangbourne nudged him into the coaching scheme and he's qualified in kayak, canoe, sprint/marathon racing, whitewater racing.
Over the years he's competed in K1, K2, C1 and C2 even winning the 2004 Waterside series and the DW C1 class.
Recent times with taking over the shop has meant less time on the water, but you can expect him back in his c1 or a playboat fairly soon.
Claire Hill: Financial Director
You can't run a business like this without being passionate about the sport. Claire and Craig met paddling, and never looked back. Craig even proposed to Claire on the weir at Plattling on a playboating holiday round Europe! These days Claire has temporarily hung up her playboat to look after the family, but still ventures out in open canoe on family trips from time to time.
Derek Hall: Distribution expert
We'd be lost without Derek. Ex international C1 paddler, who is responsible for coaching numerous athletes to success, Derek now helps Marsport out on a part time basis, doing everything to keep the place running in the background.
Pip Ede: Everything else!
As an ex international sprint and marathon paddler, Pip has since broadened his horizons and discovered the fun offered by playboating and white water paddling. His roles are many and varied - helping the business develop and maintaining the day to day running of the business - when he's not slacking off to go paddling with the Uni club!