Discover the speakers involved in the Yacht Racing Forum 2017

Kim Andersen

President of World Sailing

Nationality: DEN Biography: World Sailing President Kim Andersen is a long-time sailor having represented Denmark in over 20 World and European Championships. He has long been involved with the sport as an elite athlete and senior administrator. Andersen has a proven track record in implementing and managing successful organisations, working as CEO, Vice-President and Managing…

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Yann Penfornis

CEO, Multiplast

Carboman CEO Yann Penfornis is one of the world’s leading high end sailing boats builder. Born on September 1966, he has built innumerable record-breaking yachts, including the trimarans Sodebo, Gitana 17 and Idec, who recently brought Multiplast a 6th Jules Verne Trophy as well as the singlehanded round the world record. The french company Multiplast SAS…

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Ian Walker

Director of Racing, Royal Yachting Association, UK

Nationality: UK Biography: Winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014 – 15, Ian Walker (born 25 February 1970 in Worcester, Worcestershire) is one of Britain’s most successful sailors, with two Olympic silver medals to his name. Walker also coached Shirley Robertson and her Yngling Team to gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He is a member…

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Philippe Guigné

Virtual Regatta

Nationality: FRA Biography: Born in La Rochelle, aged 47. Philippe is a French former pro-sailor and Internet pioneer. After winning several national and international sailing competitions, Philippe started working for major internet and gaming companies. He founded VIRTUAL REGATTA with a simple idea: “Before, people could follow sailing events, now everyone can participate with our…

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Ryan Breymaier

Professional Sailor

Ryan studied and sailed at St. Mary’s College MD. He pursued his professional sailing career on a number of American programs before relocating to France in 2007 to immerse himself in offshore racing. He quickly started to work and compete on the coveted IMOCA circuit and became the first American skipper to win an IMOCA…

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Keith Lovett

Senior Underwriter, MS Amlin

Nationality: UK Biography: A Senior Yacht and Marine Trade Insurance Underwriter providing tailored insurance for race teams, event managers, boat builders, much of the supply chain and individual yachts. 30 plus years’ experience, an avid sailor and owner of a 35’ race boat hence ideally place to cater for our niche within the yacht insurance…

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Jason Ker

Ker Yacht Design Read More

Tony Bishop

Founder of Bart’s Bash

Nationality: UK Biography: Tony is the founder of Bart’s Bash, the global sailing event raising funds for the Andrew Simpson Foundation and verified by Guinness World Records as ‘The Largest Sailing Race in the World’. Bart’s Bash is the day when we especially remember and race in memory of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, the double Olympic medallist who…

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Hasso Hoffmeister

Senior Principal Engineer; Special & Light Craft, IWV and EC, DNVGL

Nationality: GER Biography: Hasso Hoffmeister has been working for Classification Society DNVGL (former Germanischer Lloyd) since 1993, as graduated Naval Architect. Since, he has been involved in the assessment of marine structures, yachts and rigs, developed several standards and guidelines, amongst which are the GL Guidelines for Structural Design of Racing Yachts. Thus, his particular…

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Alistair Watkins

Managing Director Influence Sports

Alistair Watkins is the Founder and Managing Director of Influence Sports & Media, a London based sports marketing agency with expertise in sponsorship sales, sponsorship activation, PR and content production.  Alistair was the Marketing Director of America’s Cup team, Alinghi 2007-2009, and has been involved in every America’s Cup since along with the agency providing specialist resource to the IMOCA…

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Dawn Riley

Executive Director, Oakcliff Sailing Centre / Master of Ceremony YRF

As CEO and captain of America True, Riley was the first woman to manage an America’s Cup sailing team. She raced on four America’s Cup and two Whitbread (now The Ocean Race) teams. She is a former president of the Woman’s Sports Foundation, served on the board of US Sailing, and is an adviser to…

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Mark Davis

President, Sailors for the Sea

Nationality: USA Biography: Mark is the president of Sailors for the Sea, the world’s leading ocean conservation nonprofit that serves the sailing community through education and engagement.He is an avid sailor with a USCG 100-ton Master’s license, explorer, Fellow at the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, and a globally recognized environmental leader. He…

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Andrew Miller

Nautical Channel

Nationality: Italian/USA Born: France Education: Boston University BS in Film and Television & International Relations Andew Miller is an enthusiastic sailor, seasoned media expert, television professional and the Founder of Nautical Channel; the only 24/7 TV channel dedicated to water sports. Nautical Channel is currently in 56 countries spanning from Denmark to Australia, delivering live…

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James Hall


In 2004 Spinlock launched its Deckware Series, an innovative range of Lifejacket harnesses. Identifying that there had been little product development for over thirty years, Spinlock designed a range of harness and lifejackets designed to ergonomically fit the body and its movements whilst sailing. Using modern sports materials the lifejacket harness is attractive in design…

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Stephen Willacy

Aarhus Chief City Architect

Nationality: UK Biography: Educated as an architect at Oxford Brooks University and Westminster University Stephen has been based in Aarhus, Denmark since 1984. Stephen has combined practice as a partner at internationally acclaimed Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and with teaching and research as associate professor at Aarhus School of Architecture. Projects include award winning University of…

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Rémi Finiel

Forward WIP

Nationality: SUI Biography: Mechanical engineer ENSAM 25 years of experience in Sport products development Product developer in Nidecker Snowboard (Swiss) International marketing manager in Salomon Snowboard (France) Founder and manager of Forward WIP, n°1 Water Impact Protection Thanks to a long time experience in action sport development, Remi could anticipate the new protection trend in…

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Mark Turner (by videoconference)

Volvo Ocean Race

Nationality: UK Biography: Mark Turner was appointed Volvo Ocean Race CEO in June 2016. The Briton, who competed in offshore sailing’s leading international event as a sailor in 1989, and also masterminded the Dongfeng Race Team project in the 2014-15 edition, took up the post after 23 years at the helm of global sports marketing company,…

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Gary Jobson

Vice President of the International Sailing Federation

Nationality: USA Biography: TV commentator and author, Vice President of the International Sailing Federation

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Sarah Allan

Maritime solicitor / Bentleys Stokes & Lowless

Nationality: UK Biography:  Sarah Allan is a partner at Bentley Stokes & Lowless specialising in maritime law.  Whilst she has over 15 years’ experience handling commercial shipping disputes, she has also developed a substantial yacht practice both dealing with serious incidents for insurers or owners, but also advising on all types of contracts and regulations.    This…

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Richard Mason

Richard has spend the best part of the past 20 years sailing professionally working with the Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup. He has completed 4 Volvo Ocean Races as a sailor. For the 12th edition of the race he was the shore manager of the all female team SCA. On completion of the SCA project,…

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David Raison


David Raison is a Naval Architect for SEAir, in charge of design and integration of foil system on board flying “SEAir Mini 747”. He is also the designer and builder of revolutionary scow bowed Minis “Magnum” n° 747 launched in 2010 and spin off “Maximum” n° 865 launched in 2014. Magnum 747 won 11 Classe…

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Christian Scherrer

Nationality: SUI Biography: Christian Scherrer is one of Switzerland’s best-known sailors. He’s sailing career dates back to 1993-94 when he was a watch captain on Merit Cup for the Whitbread Round the World Race. He further competed in four America’s Cup campaigns, including the victorious Alinghi campaign bringing the Cup to Switzerland, and earned a Match Racing…

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Marcus Baur

Marcus Baur, age 46, is a trained architect and entrepreneur. As a professional sailor he competed in two Olympic Games in the fast and furious 49er class. He won numerous medals at European- and World Championships and led the world ranking for more than two years. After ending his sailing career in 2008, Marcus co-founded…

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Dimitri Nicolopoulos-Salle

Founding Partner, KND Sailing Performance, Spain

Nationality: GRE Biography: KND’s vision is to bring together the power of predictive simulations (CFD & VPP) and the reality check coming from data analysis of racing yachts.

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Paul Hakes

President, Hudson Yacht Group

For over 30 years Paul has been building advanced composite yachts. He spent most of his early years building in New Zealand, and quickly became involved with constructing IOR, IMS, Whitbread 60s, IACC Americas Cup Yachts, and was construction manager for the first maxi cat “Playstation”. For 12 years he ran Hakes Marine, a successful…

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Rabih Azad-Ahmad

Mayor of Sport, Culture and Citizen Services, the City of Aarhus.

As Mayor of Sport, Culture and Citizen Services in Aarhus, Rabih is the political leader for 850 employees and politically responsible for a variety of tasks and offers in areas such as sport, culture, public services, libraries and music. Rabih Azad-Ahmad was born on 26 February 1976 in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon. At…

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Laure Caucanas

Co-founder, PEGASIUS Project

Passionate about water sports since childhood and after 12 years spent working in finance, in 2014 Laure Caucanas decided to join Sébastien Rogues on his new flying projects. For 3 years now she has been managing the ENGIE Sailing Team project and with Sebastien she is at the origin of the PEGASIUS Project adventure on…

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Liz Rushall

Nationality: British Biography: Liz has recently completed a research project for the UK trade association British Marine, highlighting the downward participation trends in sailing, and the social and generational changes affecting future boating and water sports customers and their likely participation habits. She was Chairman of the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Participation and Membership Committee…

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Thierry Bouvard

Sponsorship manager, Banque Populaire

Nationality: FRA Biography: Thierry Bouvard, a 48-year-old French national, is head of brand content, social media and sponsorship development at Banque Populaire part of the BPCE group, the second largest bank in France with over 40 million customers. A graduate of the ESSEC Business School with a masters in management and in communication & marketing…

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Dan Reading

Sustainability Programme Manager, World Sailing

Biography: Dan manages World Sailing’s sustainability programme after spending 9 years at the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine (the marine trade association) on a collaborative environmental programme. Dan was Sailing Sustainability Manager for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and has worked with several organisations implementing sustainable event management systems, including Land Rover Ben…

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Edouard Kessi

Founder of Next Technologies

Nationality: CH Biography: For more than 30 years Edouard Kessi has been involved in the development of sailing membranes. – Co-owner of the sail loft Voiles Gautier in Switzerland, – In the 80’s he developed the first paragliders and worked in the inflated textile industry for more than 15 years with his company called Ailes…

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Sébastien Rogues

Co-founder, PEGASIUS Project

Born in 1986, Sébastien Rogues started dinghy sailing when he was 6 years old. In 2007, aged 21, Sébastien started racing at a top level, aiming to become a professional skipper. After acquiring his first boat, a Pogo 2, Series class Mini 6.50, he achieved very promising results in solo races on the Mini 6.50…

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Richard Percy

CEO, Andrew Simpson Foundation

Richard Percy is the CEO of the Andrew Simpson Foundation (ASF). He is passionate about the positive impact sailing can have on young people’s lives and has over 19 years of experience of working at the forefront of grassroots sailing development internationally. Richard has sailed for the past 32 years and is qualified at the…

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Luca Rizzotti

President and founder of the Foiling Week™ - President of the International Moth Class Association

Nationality: ITA Biography: During the Italian Moth Championships held soon after the 34th America’s Cup finals in 2013 Luca sensed that the time was right to promote the development of foiling, the new way to go sailing.

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McKenzie Wilson

Executive Director, Sailing Yacht Research Foundation

As Executive Director of the Sailing Yacht Research Foundation (SYRF), McKenzie manages the foundation’s research projects and research library and works with industry leaders to advance the science and technology underlying sailboat performance. Current research projects include the Performance Prediction Project, which aims to identify which level of CFD tools will be required to generate…

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Oliver Schwall

CEO, Konzeptwerft GmbH

Nationality: GER Biography: Oliver Schwall was born in 1967 in Kiel. He was sailing for the German national team in the Olympic Tornado as a 12 year-old until he is 28, winning several international titles as well as bronze, silver and gold medals at the world and European championships. He also becomes a trainer for…

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Hugh Chambers

Chief Commercial Officer, World Sailing

Nationality: Biography: Hugh is the Chief Commercial Officer of World Sailing, with responsibility for all aspects of commercial activities, as well as marketing, communications and IT. He has held this role since early 2016 and prior to this was the Commercial Director of Team Sky with responsibility for communications, marketing, fan engagement and partnerships. From 2008…

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Joseph Bizard

OC Sport

Following a Master in Business Administration, Joseph first developed his career with a 8 years experience working in the Marketing Department of McDonald’s. Passionate about Sailing, Joseph joined OC Sport Pen Duick in 2015 as Sponsorship Manager for OC Offshore Sailing Events. He is now in charge of developing B2C and B2B Revenues accros the…

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Sofia Bekatorou

Pro Sailor

Nationality: Greek Biography: The first female Olympic Flag bearer in modern history in RIo 2016 Olympics Sofia Bekatorou is the most successful Greek female sailor with two Olympic medals Gold with Emilia Tsoulfa in 470 class and Bronze with Sofia Papadopoulou and Virginia Kravarioti in Yngling class. Bekatorou’s team was awarded twice with the Rolex…

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Tucker Thompson

Master of Ceremony

Nationality: USA Biography: Tucker Thompson is the official Host of the 35th America’s Cup and was one of the TV announcers of the 34th Cup in San Francisco. A veteran sailing commentator, Thompson has hosted over 1,500 sailing shows on T2PTV and live TV and covered the America’s Cup on TV since the 2007 Cup in…

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Libby Greenhalgh

Pro Sailor, The Magenta Project

Libby Greenhalgh is qualified Meteorologist, having studied Geophysical Sciences at the University of Southampton and then a Masters in Applied Meteorology at the University of Reading, she went on to work for the Met Office for 3 and half years supporting the Ministry of Defence. Libby has sailed all her life racing dinghies at multiple…

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Patrice Rosay

Founder, Bepeho

Nationality: FRA Biography: When he founded Bepeho in 2016 at 45 , patrice merged his passion for offshore sailing and software engineering. With renowned sailors, he designed the first 100% offshore sailing video system: MediaMan-Assistant. Thanks to MediaMan-Assistant, sailors can, at the same time, focus on the race and share dramatic events, for the benefit of…

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Cliff Webb

CEO, 1080 Media TV

Award winning Executive TV producer, live director, and consultant for international productions. Many years of experience with broadcast operations, content creation, sponsorship, marketing, sports events, and media operations, with a long background in on-line broadcasting, social media delivery, and internet TV channels. He has been involved with sailing and water sports events for over 25…

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Magda Makowska

Sopot Match Race event director

Magda has a proven track record in implementing and managing international sailing events including 2014 EUROSAF Match Racing European Championship (Event Director), Optimist World Championship 2015 (Vice President), 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship (Event Director) and (2014-2016) World Match Racing Tour / (2017) Match Race Super League stopover: Sopot Match Race (Executive Director)….

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Christian Peer

Star Sailors League

Christian Peer is the founder and CEO of EVCOM GMBH, a Sports Marketing and Communications Agency based in Austria. Christian has been involved in the last three editions of the America´s Cup in various roles primarily focussed on the Project Management of the Louis Vuitton America´s Cup World Series including all sponsorship activation and the…

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Francesco Feletti

Nationality: ITA Biography: Dr Francesco Feletti is a medical specialist and extreme sports medicine expert. He currently holds a position of Dirigente Medico at the S. Maria delle Croci Hospital in Ravenna, Italy and conducts academic extreme sports medicine research at the Department of Bioengineering of the Politecnico di Milano University. He inspired and co-founded…

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Britt Ward

Nationality:  USA Biography:  Britton Ward is Vice President, Senior Naval Architect and Shareholder at Farr Yacht Design in Annapolis, Maryland.  His primary responsibilities include conceptual design leadership and hull shape development of performance sailing yacht and powerboat projects as well as management and implementation of research and development programs.  Farr Yacht Design employs the latest…

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Enrico Benco

Enrico Benco co-founded GS4C srl in 2012 with the aim to facilitate the transition to Circular Economy for the Marine Industry. GS4C mission is to research, develop, prototype and promote sustainable and recyclable solutions for the composite sector, fostering the growth of a network of companies with the competencies to support the vision of Cradle…

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Emmanuel Bachellerie

Communication consultant since the beginning of his professional career for all types / sizes of companies, Emmanuel Bachellerie was, among others, communication director of the Multicup in 2006 (ORMA) and in charge of the Gitana Team’s communication in 2007. Passionate about offshore racing, he was chosen by Actual, Banque Populaire, Macif and Sodebo to build,…

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Jean-Loup Thiers


Jean-Loup THIERS joined Airbus in 2003, after previous experience in automotive interiors, and Aircraft cabin engineering. Successively acting in customer support, and marketing functions, as engineer, instructor, pricing manager, innovator, he has a great overview of Airbus activities. Jean-Loup is patent holder on an aircraft structure specific design. As Airbus plans to broaden our filed of…

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Gordon Kay

Founder, Infiniti Yachts

British yachtsman and sailing pioneer Gordon Kay started has had two décades of accomplished offshore racing, starting with winning the Expo 98 round the world rally, campaigning Bols Sport for a win in the 2001 Hobart race, then the Welbourn 93 supermaxi Bols. Not designed to a rule, this boat featured several innovations, notably trim…

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Harry Spedding

Extrem Sailing Series technical director

I have been in the Marine Industry for nearly 2 decades, with approximately 150,000nm offshore in everything from Superyachts to Minis, private and charter, motor and sail. Over the last 10 years I have worked as Project Director for an IMOCA team on the Vendee Globe and Barcelona World Race. Currently the Technical Director for…

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George Lyle

Nationality: UK Biography: George is the load cell engineer at Diverse Yachts. After completing his MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering, George was shortlisted for the British Young Design Engineer of the Year for his innovative load cell designs. He was introduced to sailing at a very young age, and since joining Diverse Yachts he has…

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Trey Brown


Nationality: USA Biography: Trey manages the sales channels for North and South America for Zhik, a sailing brand based out of Sydney, Australia. He began sailing during his teens on various boats and spent many years racing Nacra catamarans. It was through catamaran racing that he connected with Zhik and found a role to help…

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Simon Tonks

Nationality: GBR Biography: Deputy Head Of Marine: Hiscox. Age 44. Life time of racing dinghies and yachts including a National title, Simon combines his passion for racing with 25 year’s experience in marine insurance. Hiscox are one of Lloyds Of London oldest and most respected syndicates. Current Hiscox clients include Volvo, extreme 40s, IMOCA and…

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Nigel Irens

Nigel Irens has been a pioneer in the field of racing multihull design since 1979 having been responsible for many successful boats such as ‘FUJI’ (3 times winner of the UK’s Single-Handed Transatlantic), FLEURY MICHON (winner of the French ‘ROUTE du RHUM’) and B&Q-CASTORAMA in which Dame Ellen MacArthur beat the single-handed Round the World Record…

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Jason Smithwick

Nationality: USA Biography: Jason is Director of the RORC Rating Office with overall technical and managerial responsibility for the office that provides an unrivalled administrative and technical service to owners and the industry. Jason looks after the IRC Rating System and technical class management for classes such as the Maxis and Swans. Jason has a PhD…

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Alessandro Nazareth

Alessandro Nazareth is the Chairman of the International Technical Committee of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). He has been a Yacht Designer with the Vallicelli Design office in Rome for 35 years, and has helped with the design of more than 150 sailing yachts including two America’s Cup contenders. His sailing career started from dinghies…

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Michal Korneszczuk

Michal Korneszczuk (38) – regatta organizer and founder of one of the biggest polish annual events – Nord CUP. 2017 edition saw 320 boats in 20 classes with 700 sailors. Most recently co-organized record turnout Dr Irena Eris ORC European Championship Gdansk 2017 with 82 boats with 710 sailors from 18 nations. Founder of polish…

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Leslie Greenhalgh

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Juan Kouyoumdjian

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Andy Winistoerfer


Andy Winistoerfer is the Founder and CEO of Carbo-Link, a high-tech University spin-off specialising in the design, engineering and manufacture of structural composite components for a wide range of applications in different markets. Carbo-Link is producing primary composite structures for the aerospace industry, Carbon fibre cables for large crawler cranes and composite rigging for America’s…

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Andy Rice

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Violaine Magaud

Nationality : FRA Biography : Violaine Magaud is an environmental engineer with 8 years of practice in sustainability and life cycle management, specialized in the domain of sports and events. She is working for Quantis, a leading company in life cycle assessment (LCA) consulting, specialized in supporting companies or institutions to measure, understand and manage the…

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Håkan Svensson

World Match Racing Tour

Nationality: SWE Biography: Håkan Svensson is the entrepreneur that left the shipping industry for carbon fibre, composites and sailing productions. His heart has always been gelled closely together with sailing and the love for the sport is hard to mistake when you see his smile while helming his own M32 catamaran. Having supported multiple sailing campaigns…

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