Fred Conradie is the Principal of Elite Sailing since December 2021 and of Guardian Marine Training Services since November 2022.

Fred grew up in South Africa and spent six years in the South African Defence Force as a medic (4 Special Forces Regiment). Since leaving the regiment Fred has worked in the Outdoor Adventure Industry, (Fred’s middle name should be Adventure).

In October 2018 he became the full-time Instructor at Elite Sailing, then taking over the reins of the business in 2021. Fred holds the Yachtmaster Ocean Qualification and the following Instructor Awards: Yachtmaster Instructor, Shorebased Instructor, First Aid and Diesel Instructor.

And when you can’t find him on the water, you will find him riding his Motorbike in New Forest.


Nicole is our Office Manager (A.K.A THE BOSS!) at Elite Sailing since March 2022.

Since arriving in the UK, Nicole’s working experience has been at Michelin-star restaurants, Luxury hotels, and a prestigious private membership club in London. Her passion for customer service has led her to gain further experience in the corporate world, working alongside worldwide Beer distribution centre and Marketing Research companies.

Although Nicole hasn’t grown much of her sea legs, she enjoys assisting our instructors whenever they need an extra set of hands. Soon enough, she would be bossing us around on the water too!


Steve (Hodge) is the Chief Instructor at Elite, appointed to help the team deliver consistency across the courses, maintain professional standards and training, and liaise with the instructors to ensure Elite always provides an excellent customer experience.

‘Hodge’ had an early introduction to all things maritime by attending The London Nautical School in the mid-1990s.  In his younger years sailing took a bit of a back seat while building a career in IT, having a family, and playing club-level rugby.

After relocating to Chatham, Kent in 2015 he reengaged with sailing in a big way completing every course and adventure sail Elite had on offer. He worked his way through every step of the RYA curriculum until reaching the Yachtmaster Ocean theory.  He can also be found occasionally writing for Practical Boat Owner (PBO) magazine.

Now a highly experienced RYA Yachtmaster Instructor (YMI), he enjoys dividing his time between family fun with his partner Sam and her three children (including adventures on their own 40ft Beneteau), running a global IT business, and undertaking the responsibilities as Chief instructor at Elite.