The ILCA Technical team is responsible for protecting the one design of the class. They audit boat production on-site to ensure builder compliance and quality, and they develop tools for continuous improvement. With this team’s active monitoring, any sailor buying a boat from an ILCA-approved builder can rest assured that their ILCA dinghy will be exactly the same as all their competitors’. This makes ILCA sailing among the purest forms of competition, where the skill of the sailor – not the equipment – determines the winner.
Though it is a highly detailed and selective process to become an approved ILCA builder, starting in 2019, ILCA welcomed a number of new builders to manufacture the ILCA dinghy. With the introduction of different builders around the globe, the Technical team was developed to actively partner with and audit the approved builders to make sure all construction specifications are compliant. The Technical team works with the builders and suppliers through regular audits, problem-solving, and quality improvement.
By ensuring that the one-design principle isn’t devalued by manufacturing changes, the Technical team has paved the way for ILCA to welcome the top builders around the world to manufacture the ILCA dinghy and still preserve its unique design for years to come.
Chris Tunstall is a 66-year-old Brit who has been involved with Laser manufacturing for almost 40 years and is responsible for the development of over 30 boats from design to manufacture. He studied at Southampton College of Technology from 1975–1978 and started his career with Performance Sailcraft as Technical Manager in 1978. He joined ILCA in late 2022 as Chief Technical Officer, having spent five years in the automotive industry as a Lead Specialist in Strategy Development and Technology Forums.
Santiago Sampaio is a 27-year-old Portuguese ILCA 7 sailor and engineer. He has been sailing the ILCA for almost 13 years at the international level with the goal of reaching the Olympic Games in 2024. In 2018, he graduated as a naval engineer, and since 2020, he has been at ILCA working on the Technical team by combining both his areas of expertise.
Louis Moysan, a 33-year-old Frenchman now based in Portugal, joined ILCA in early 2022. With a background in materials science, he previously worked in the UK and Spain as an R&D and production engineer, then as a project manager in the composite and marine industries. Louis also competed in several dinghies, including the ILCA 6.
Margarida Lopes is 26 years old, Portuguese, and currently based in Palma de Mallorca with a degree and Master’s in Naval Architecture. She has previous experience in different areas of the sailing industry, from computational fluid dynamics and R&D engineering to shore crew and technical officer of racing yachts, and she joined ILCA in late 2022. Margarida is also a keen competitive sailor who has sailed the ILCA 4 and ILCA 6.
Andrew Holdsworth completed a degree in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and worked at British Maritime Technology. He joined ILCA after retiring from a long career in database performance at Oracle and Amazon. Currently he is building databases of the QR codes stuck to ILCA components, builder data on boats built, and details of the moulds used around the world. A keen sailor of all boats when his career did not get in the way, he’s now focused on ILCA Masters racing and cruising his X-Yacht in Turkey and Greece.
Ravi Subramanian has degrees in mechanical and civil engineering and public policy from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also worked as a research engineer. An active one-design sailor (ILCA, Sunfish, J/22s, and J/80s), he joined ILCA in 2013 to oversee the development of the online registration system for the ILCA World Championships. Based in the Austin office, he supports event operations, ILCA shipments, and the Technical team with analysis and component evaluation at ILCA’s in-house test facility.
Clive Humphris is from the UK, studied engineering at Coventry University, then emigrated to Australia in 1974. He had an over 30-year career in the automotive industry, leading various engineering teams. He joined ILCA in 2008 as Chief Technical Officer and played a key role in the development of major changes within ILCA, including the ILCA 7 MKII sail, the composite top mast, the improved hull laminate, and the ILCA 6 lower mast. In 2022, Clive stepped down as CTO and remains on the team in an advisory role.