MarineBusiness-World.com
 
 
News Home Australian Cruising FishingBoating Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia
Sail-World.com : The Professional-part one of a conversation with Ken Read
The Professional-part one of a conversation with Ken Read


'Ken Read ponders the upcoming tack while Tony Mutter helms the Mar Mostro, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)'    Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race©    Click Here to view large photo

Ken Read (52) has been commanding sailing headlines for the past thirty-plus years, starting with his collegiate days at Boston University where he was a three-time Collegiate All American and the Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s College Sailor of the Year (1982), through his time as a J/24 and Etchells champion and a respected sailmaker in his hometown of Newport, Rhode Island. Along the way, Read amassed a fine record of more than 40 wins in National, North American and World Championship regattas, and he was twice named U.S. Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (1985 and 1994).

Dennis Conner shoulder-tapped Read to serve as his helmsman during the 2000 and 2003 'Stars & Stripes' campaigns, and Read has also served on the afterguard of plenty of high-profile big-boat campaigns, including George David’s all-conquering 'Rambler' program. More recently, Read served as the skipper of Puma Ocean Racing’s entries in the 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), where the team finished in second and third place, respectively. Additionally, Read has worked in various capacities for North Sails since 1996, and in January of 2013 he was promoted to the high-profile role of President.

I recently caught up with Read on the phone to get his pulse on sailmaking in an modern era that features wingsails in the Cup, One Design in the VOR and a heavy Grand Prix focus on sport boats and smaller keelboats.

Am I correct that before the 2008/09 Volvo Campaign you served as the Vice President of North Sails?
Yes. I worked under Gary Wiseman and I concentrated on sales and development and marketing and service. I really had my paws in a little bit of everything. My direct report was to Gary Wiseman who was, at the time, President of North Sails.

What role if any did you have with North Sails when you were racing with Puma? Did you resign the position or take a leave of absence?
We called it a sabbatical. Technically, I was still with North Sails but to be honest, at the time I was their biggest customer. It was a unique learning experience for me because I got to see life from the other side for six years. I hope like crazy that I’m bringing that experience back and helping to try and make things better using that specific experience.

Ken Read drives while navigator Tom Addis eyes the weather just to leeward. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race) -  Amory Ross-Puma Ocean Racing-Volvo Ocean Race©   Click Here to view large photo


Let’s talk a little bit about your role as President of North Sails? You started in January?
Yes—essentially January 1st. I got into it a little bit last December. Tom [Whidden] and I agreed [that I’d take the position] right after Thanksgiving of last year, [but] Tom and I and Gary [Wiseman] and Jay Hansen have been talking about this for a long, long time. In essence, Gary decided he was ready to retire and so [he] needed somebody to fill those shoes, and then instead of just simply filling those shoes as they were, we decided to try to intentionally improve-or try to improve the model-at the same time and [to] start looking at ways to do things do better.

How is your role as President different to what you did as Vice President?
The buck stops here! I can’t blame Gary any more for all the problems and then take all the credit for all the good… [laughs]

There’s a lot of things happening in North Sails and we pinpointed a bunch of things that we thought were priorities right out of the block. North Sails is a phenomenal manufacturing design and engineering and manufacturing company that makes the best-I am totally convinced-products in the world, no matter what category of sailing you want to do, from Snipes and Lightnings to Mega Yachts.

I have had to spend very little time with the manufacturing and engineering side. What we have really concentrated on-for the first time ever, really-has [been building] a real sales management [team in North America]. You do what you know best and I went back, as soon as I got this job, and hired Kimo Worthington, who had been my right-hand man through two Volvo races, and who I trusted implicitly.

Even though he has no formal sales training, he has training in getting shit done so really the first thing [that] I did was to go spend a little bit of money. We are really working hard-and it’s not nearly done yet-to really improve the distribution of North Sails. Not from a selling standpoint, but from a customer-relations standpoint, and that’s a big project and I needed some help and Kimo is the right guy.

What do you see as your biggest challenges and biggest opportunities as the head of the world’s biggest sail maker?
We need to grow the sport. I think the momentum is turning right now to be quite frank. We see more positives right now in the sport than we have seen in a long time but we can’t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring and wait for people to take-up sailing. We need to actively help grow the sport and that is one of my big time roles and jobs. We need to be a little more customer-friendly. We are already working on 3Di, [which] we think [commands] a dominant position in the market, but we can never stop there.

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, skippered by Ken Read from the USA, in tough seas, on the approach to the finish of leg 8, from Lisbon, Portugal, to Lorient, France, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race) -  Paul Todd-Volvo Ocean Race©   Click Here to view large photo


Is it fair to say that this is the biggest changing of the guards at North Sails in several decades?
Yes. The good news is that we are just scratching the surface. It’s a breath of fresh air and I think that things [can] get a little stagnant. It’s not a shock that North Sails management is in their 60s and time for a little bit of young blood. I’m not saying we are young by any means, but we are younger and [have] a slightly different way of looking at things. [North Sails has] an unbelievable heritage-we have an incredible past but that doesn’t mean you can just sit on it and hope that it works forever, and that’s the stage that we are in right now.

Do you still get to go sailing a lot in your new role as President?
My wife was kidding me the other day that she thinks I slept at home more when I was doing the Volvo than I do now that I’m doing this job! It’s a lot of travel. Obviously, the America’s Cup thing was a big deal for North Sails and the reason I did the America’s Cup broadcasting was to try to make sure just through association that the world realized North Sails had as much to do with this America’s Cup as possibly any other America’s Cup in history.

We didn’t make as many sails, but we made every single sail for every single boat. We made wings for [Luna Rossa Challenge] and for Emirates Team New Zealand.

We had our smartest guys in the company involved with the wings and the wing technology. Our Design Services guys were all into the aero-side of these programs. Our Thin Ply Technology part of North Technology Group, which is a carbon-fiber company, made parts and pieces for the wings. EC6 Rigging did all kinds of carbon standing rigging for the boats.

I hope that the NBC broadcasts were a direct reflection on how important North Sails [thinks] the America’s Cup is to our sport.

More from North Sails at www.northsails.com - there you find links to Thin Ply technology and all aspects of the North Sails group.

Please stay tuned for Parts Two and Three of this interview series.


by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.marinebusiness-world.com/index.cfm?nid=116088

8:50 PM Sat 26 Oct 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on

2012 North Sails Australia
2012 North Technology Group

Related News Stories:

24 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Ken Read's View: The Cup that will never end
16 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Ken Read's View: Why both AC72's continue to progress
06 Sep 2013  North Sails NZ seasonal discounts are back with 25% off
02 Sep 2013  America's Cup - Ken Read's View: Red Bull teams are ready for racing
29 Aug 2013  America's Cup - Ken Read's View: Foggy day on San Francisco Bay
20 Aug 2013  America's Cup - Ken Read's View: Patience is a Virtue
08 Aug 2013  America's Cup - Insider's view: Close enough to touch
20 Jun 2013  Southern Spars make two finals at the 2013 Auckland Exporter Awards
20 Jun 2013  North Sails claims 7th consecutive Etchells World title
17 Jun 2013  Christoph Burger to be on board of North Sails Switzerland
MORE STORIES ...





Marine Business News

January 29, 2015: Apple shattered records with massive jumps in sales and profits. This boosted tech equities and allowed a rebound from yesterdays losses, although energy shares weighed heavily, as Oil dropped below $45/barrel. ... [more]  

Gold Coast International Marine Expo has confirmed that more than 50 per cent of its outdoor exhibitor space from 2014 has been sold less than eight weeks since the announcement of new May event dates. ... [more]  

January 28, 2015:Durable Goods Orders contracted 3.4%, which is a trend scaring many, as a contradiction to the strong economic recovery the US has vaunted. Earnings from corporate giants Caterpillar and Microsoft floundered and stock prices tanked. ... [more]  

New Holiday Camps at Lake Macquarie with the H2O Sports Academy by H2O Sports Academy Australia, Lake Macquarie, NSW
he H2O Sports Academy Australia opened its doors to the first group of kids aged between 6 and 17 years for the first H2O Holiday Camp 12-19 January. Based within the impressive NSW Sport and Recreation Centre at Point Wolstoncroft on Lake Macquarie. ... [more]  

Antigua Sailing Week is delighted to announce Sunsail is back on board as the official bareboat charter sponsor of Antigua Sailing Week 2015. ... [more]  

GoFree – the provider of digital content and services and part of the Navico family of marine electronics brands including Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G – announced today a significant upgrade to the award-winning Insight Genesis™ personal and social mapping utility. ... [more]  

January 27, 2015: The Greek election went, as polls had suggested, with a victory to the extreme left Syriza party. The major platform was anti-austerity and the Government is expected to head in to negotiations with the EC for debt forgiveness. ... [more]  

Brandspot are proud to take another big step in the launch of a new one-design class designed for match racing at any place and on any level, from the World Match Racing Tour to club sailing. Fresh from the Boatyard in Hungary, the first B38 Match will be presented for the first time at The Gothenburg Boat Show. ... [more]  

2015 Club Marine Southern 80 - This year’s Southern 80 will see new and old ski racers travel to Echuca / Moama to ‘chew the fat’ of what would have been, could have been and what should of happened, some with an element of truth and lots of it with embellishment. This is the 50th year since water ski racing started on the Murray River in Echuca / Moama and it promises to be some exciting action ... [more]  

Recreational anglers now have better access to rock fishing spots at Boggaley Creek, near Lorne, thanks to new steps that descend from the Great Ocean Road. ... [more]  

North Sails Group is pleased to announce the launch of our Chinese language website: www.cn.northsails.com. This new website is a resource for Chinese-speaking sailors and represents the first time North Sails company history, sailing products, services and technology have been described and detailed for the Chinese sailing community. ... [more]  

January 23, 2015: The AUDUSD fell to 0.8060, while the NZDUSD is testing 0.7500, on the downside. It is the lack of demand and the hit to global growth that is impacting the markets ... [more]  

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is pleased to announce that it has signed a Partnership Agreement with the global energy company Gazprom EP International B.V. ... [more]  

January 22, 2015: The NZD and AUD fell out of bed overnight as the realisation dawns on Central Banks there is little growth and falling inflation. The Bank of Canada surprised markets and cut interest rates citing low inflation and decimated Oil prices. ... [more]  

Vesper Marine, a leading manufacturer of innovative marine safety products, announced today it has been awarded the contract to provide Virtual Automatic Identification System (AIS) Beacons to mark seven reefs hazardous to shipping in the Bay of Plenty, as well as provide a coastal monitoring capability. ... [more]  

The RYA Powerboat Racing team are pleased to announce Peters and May, Powerboat GP and Your Print Partner Ltd as sponsors of the prestigious RYA Powerboat Racing Awards 2015. ... [more]  

The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show has secured an exciting promotional partnership with RACQ and Auto Clubs Australia - wide, providing more than 7.8 million members with valuable online ticket options for the 2015 event. ... [more]  

January 21, 2015: European equities rallied overnight, for all the wrong reasons.Haven't we seen this movie? The US has flushed the markets with liquidity, since the GFC, giving equity markets the biggest monetary boost in history. The ECB plans to do the same and flood the markets with cheap money in an effort to stimulate. ... [more]  

The leading international boating and water sports event, Boot Düsseldorf takes place from 17th to 25th January. The first weekend 80,000 visited the boat show. ... [more]  

At the Düsseldorf Boat Show in Germany the Extreme Sailing Series™ and Series Main Partner, Land Rover, were delighted to announce Oman Sail as the winner of the 2014 Land Rover Above and Beyond award. The award was presented to the team or individual who demonstrated the finest examples of skill, sportsmanship and strength of mind at each of the Series’ Acts. ... [more]  

Bay of Islands Sailing Week - BOISW and the New Zealand Millennium Cup start Wednesday and Doyle Sails are offering an overnight service on sail repairs and a basic rigging service. Doyles have team members on several boats during the regatta, so will be ready to help you as soon as you hit the dock, should you suffer any damage during the racing. ... [more]  

At the ASMEX 2015 conference AIMEX and Superyacht Australia are excited to announce that Martin Redmayne, Chairman and Editor in Chief of The Superyacht Group will MC. ... [more]  

January 20, 2015: Markets were slow, calm and steady overnight due to MLK holidays taken by US markets. This allowed speculation on European markets about the timing and magnitude of the ECB's QE. Massive expansion of liquidity is expected, which boosted equity markets, but undermine the currency. ... [more]  

Inaugural Phuket Yacht Show postponed by Phuket Yacht Show Media, Phuket, Thailand
The organisers of the new yacht charter show for Asia have announced the postponement of the first edition, scheduled to take place 12-15 February in Phuket Yacht Haven Marina, which is under redevelopment to make it the biggest superyacht marina in Asia. ... [more]  

Images from the London Boat Show 2015 provided by onEdition. The show contained everything from the latest sailing innovations to show-stopping experiences, including the Controled Rain curtain at the entrance and a 'at sea' 4D sensory experience. ... [more]  

CWM FX London Boat Show - The founders of Beds on Board are delighted with the reception to the peer-to-peer marketplace that connects boat owners with accommodation seekers. Launched this week at the CWM FX London Boat Show, co-founder Jason Ludlow commented: ... [more]  

Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race organisers, The Multihull Yacht Club Queensland, is pleased to announce that APC Logistics are once again major sponsors. After last year’s successful 50th Anniversary of the MYCQ Brisbane to Gladstone race, APC Logistics have continued their support for the event. ... [more]  

Multihull Solutions has kicked off the new year with the launch of an impressive new website at www.multihullsolutions.com.au. The company, which has become the Asia Pacific’s leading multihull specialist, developed the new site as an informative resource for those looking to buy, sell or research catamarans and trimarans. ... [more]  

Oceanair, leading supplier of blinds, shades, screens, and soft furnishings in the marine market, is proud to introduce the new Solarshield – a Lloyd’s approved antiglare roller blind that has been optimised for the marine environment. The unique roller blind blocks 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays and rejects up to 80% of the sun’s energy and is ideal for use on bridges ... [more]  

Just in time for the busy summer boating season in Townsville, Superior Jetties built a pontoon at each of the very popular boat ramps in Ross Creek. ... [more]  

2014 warmest year since records began + Video by NOAA National Climatic Data Center
The year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880. The annually-averaged temperature was 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F), easily breaking the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). ... [more]  

January 17, 2015: The AUD consolidated above 0.8200, while the NZD slipped back below 0.7800. The coming week will look at Housing, Growth and Manufacturing. US Markets will enjoy a long weekend compliments of Martin Luther King. Th NZD currently trades 0.6691 and 0.5104 against the EUR and GBP. ... [more]  

Huge concrete modules built by a local Geelong manufacturer will be installed in Victorian waters to create one of the largest artificial reefs in the state. Visiting family owned local concreter Bates Pipes and Products today, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the concrete, custom made reef modules will be a great boost to Geelong’s industry and economy. ... [more]  

Collinson FX Market Commentary: Jan 16 - Disarray when Swiss drop cap
Collinson FX Market Commentary: Jan 15 - World Bank drops growth guess
Neil Pryde retires as head of Pryde Group
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - Win a holiday to South West France
Hamilton Island Race Week 2015 - Accommodation options
SE Asia tanker hijacks rose in 2014 - IMB report reveals
Collinson FX Market Commentary: Jan 14 - Europe ignores reality
Laser Training News from Performance Sailcraft
Sunstream® introduces Swiftshield™ automatic boat cover
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta announce renewed sponsorship agreement
Haines Signature introduces carbon kevlar for 2015
RYA Powerboat Racing Awards Ceremony 2015 - Tickets now on sale
Phuket International Boat Show - Asia's leading consumer boat show
Sydney Sailboat Expo - A meeting place for Sailors
McConaghy Boats dominate 70th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Collinson FX Market Commentary: Jan 13 - Market jitters as oil falls
London Boat Show - The Green Blue’s digital guides launched
Marine Rescue NSW - Funding boost for tower announced
Phuket International Boat Show - Show of choice for new launches
CWM FX London Boat Show – Henri Lloyd Merchandise launched
Super Boat International announce official fuel supplier   
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show unveils speaker line up 2015   
Southern Spars 'retro-rigged' Wild Oats takes a record 8th line win   
Phuket International Boat Show - Record numbers on opening day   
London Boat Show - Come and say hello to Ben Ainslie Racing Team   
FHS work with Hart Marine on new use for polyethylene pipe   
London Boat Show - Beds on Board launches   
Phuket International Boat Show 2015 biggest showcase yet   
Clipper Yacht Race announces official navigation software supplier   
AMM takes small plate boats upmarket into ‘Sea Class’   
BAR HQ will provide a showcase for clean energy   
Sail-World - New Media Sales opportunity   
Clipper Race announces sponsorship extensions with long-term partners   
Toronto Boat Show Ocean Sailing Forum - Learn from cruising experts   
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - Suzuki Marine Safety Boat competition   
AMM takes small plate boats upmarket into 'Sea Class'   
Phuket International Boat Show preview   
Second ISAF Approved Training Centre successfully audited   
Building the bridge from Optimist to Laser and beyond – with Byte C1 *Feature   
Collinson FX Market Commentary: Dec 31 - It's all Greek   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
  






Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW MBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT