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The team

NEIL MINTY

Neil Minty joined VirCru as Managing Director in May ‘21 having spent the majority of his career working for Consumer Brands including BBC Worldwide, Times Newspapers, T-Mobile, Arcadia Group, Kurt Geiger and Links of London. Most recently, he was Global Digital Director at Magnum Photos before moving to the marine industry.

Neil has a long standing love of the water both on and in as a surfer, lifeguard and boat owner as well as being an active volunteer with the RNLI for a number of years until moving back to London in December ‘20.

The need for VirCru for boat owners was reinforced for Neil in the most dramatic way while in discussions to join the business. Having been off the water for winter storage, Neil’s boat, an old but much loved Shetland, was launched in South Devon and within the next few days began to take on water. Unfortunately, being over 200 miles away, Neil was unaware that the boat was seriously in danger and despite being eventually alerted by the harbour master (on the Saturday Neil was about to accept the job at VirCru…) the boat took on enough water to permanently damage the electrics and was a write off. Given this could have been avoided had VirCru been fitted, the irony (but necessity!) has not been lost on Neil and he passionately wants to avoid this kind of issue for others in the boating community.

TRISTAN DARGAY

Tristan is the Founder and Group CEO of VirCru and TAD Electronics as well as holding an interest in PID Systems and The Smartwater Group. Tristan is a serial entrepreneur having worked for himself, setting up successful businesses, since leaving Birmingham University in 2005 .

Tristan has been passionate about engineering since a young age. His mum, a Professor of Economics at Oxford and Leeds University, was a highly influential figure in his working life. An early interest in computer science and software engineering led to Tristan developing and selling software from the age of 13. This early interest in entrepreneurship set the tone for the rest of his career leading to Tristan setting up his own businesses as soon as he finished full time education.

Ironically, the first product that Tristan designed was for the marine industry. Unfortunately, it seems the marine industry wasn’t ready for him at that stage so the next 18 years were spent successfully designing and manufacturing products for industries as diverse as security, civil engineering and aviation. 

As an enthusiastic boat owner, there were three things that kept Tristan up at night… Whether the isolator was off, if he’d closed the sunroof (who fits carpets in boats? They do at Janneau apparently…) and would the fridge be cold enough. Tristan knew that he could achieve all these with products that he already designed and sold with some modifications specifically for the marine industry and that, along with a desire to make the best value and best products on the market, was how VirCru was conceived.

TREVOR ANTELL

Trevor is the consulting Quality Manager for VirCru but perhaps more importantly, brings a wealth of marine industry experience to the team having run his own businesses successfully in the marine industry for over 15 years as Managing Director of Accordant Marketing UK Ltd. Accordant Marketing are the sole European Agent for the highly respected Myerchin Range of rigging/sailing knives which are widely used by the US Military but also by both commercial and leisure sailors globally. Prior to running Accordant, Trevor had a successful career in the Ministry of Defence, most recently as Head of Operations for a site with over 400 staff.

Trevor’s interest in boats started at a young age in Weymouth, following in his dad’s footsteps as an enthusiastic dinghy sailor. Since then he has owned Mirrors, Enterprise and Lasers and still regularly sails everything from Mirror 16s to Drascomb Luggers. In addition to this, he has been volunteering (since 2004) at Dorset ‘Lowland’ Search and Rescue (DorSAR), currently Search Lead having previously served 4 years as Chairman, 8 years as Operations Officer and 3 years as Operations Coordinator. DorSAR is a 100 volunteer strong organisation specialising in the emergency searching for vulnerable missing people.

Despite this marine heritage, Trevor has managed to submerge speedboats, terrify his partner and beach multiple dinghies. Like all the VirCru team, he intends to continue to do so.