SPEAKERS 2019

Discover the speakers involved in the Yacht Racing Forum 2019

Max Sirena

Skipper and Team Director, team Luna Rossa

Born in Rimini in 1971, Massimiliano “Max” Sirena is at his seventh America’s Cup challenge, two of which were winning campaigns. The first win was in the 33rd America’s Cup edition where he was in charge of the mast win project with BMW Oracle Racing. His second victory was in the 35th America’s Cup in…

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Dee Caffari

Pro Sailor

Dee Caffari MBE (born 23 January 1973) is a British sailor. In 2006, she became the first woman to sail single-handedly and non-stop around the world “the wrong way”; westward against the prevailing winds and currents. In February 2009, Caffari completed the Vendée Globe race and set a new record to become the first woman…

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Ken Read

President, North Sails

Ken Read, President, North Sails / North Technology Group Executive Vice President (Newport, USA) Ken Read is one of the world’s most accomplished and celebrated sailors. American Read has twice been at the helm of Dennis Conner’s America’s Cup programs and he was named ‘United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year’ on two occasions. He…

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Johan Salén

CEO, The Ocean Race

Johan Salén is the Managing Director and a co-owner of The Ocean Race, an event he has been involved with for 30 years as a sailor, team project manager and leader of the event organising body. A world championship windsurfer, Salén first competed in what was then known as the Whitbread Round the World Race…

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Chris Draper

CEO/Wing Trimmer, Great Britain SailGP Team

Chris Draper serves as both the CEO and wing trimmer for the Great Britain SailGP Team. He holds multiple world and European championship titles, as well as the bronze medal from the 2004 Olympic Games in the 49er class – in which he held the world No. 1 ranking for five consecutive years. He has…

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Victoria Low

Project Lead, World Sailing Trust's Women in Sailing Review

With over 25 years experience of working on global marketing and communication strategies in the marine industry Victoria has been working with the World Sailing Trust to deliver this strategic review as part of their wider Access to Sailing programme.

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Shirley Robertson

Shirley Robertson OBE made history by becoming the first British woman to win Olympic Gold Medals at two consecutive Olympic Games. She’s in Scotland’s prestigious Sports Hall of Fame, holds a role as Deputy Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight and is one of the most recognisable faces from the sport of sailing. Born in…

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Stephanie Nadin

Marketing Expert

Sports event professional with more than 15 years of experience in project management, event creation and hospitality, including 10 years abroad, Stephanie Nadin’s expertise lies in understanding the marketing, communication and business challenges of brands that invest in prestigious events or sponsorship, in order to support them in the most effective way possible in the…

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Stan Honey

Pro Navigator, businessman and technology developer

Stan Honey is a multitalented American professional sailor as well as a businessman and technology developer. His track record as a navigator includes a victory in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race onboard ABN Amro I, navigator onboard Comanche and Rambler88, several participations in the America’s Cup, eleven wins in Transpac races and much more. He has held…

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Gianguido Girotti

General Manager, Bénéteau

In 2015, when he was barely in his forties, the Italian-born Gianguido Girotti, who qualified from the School of Naval Architecture in Southampton, joined the Beneteau brand as Sailing Yacht Product Marketing Manager. In 2017, he went on to become the Marketing Manager for the Sailing Yacht and Motorboat division. With a faultless career managing…

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Stewart Hosford

CEO, Alex Thomson Racing

Stewart Hosford is the co-founder and Managing Director of leading sports consultancy 5 West Ltd, and CEO of Alex Thomson Racing, part of the 5 West Ltd group. As CEO of Alex Thomson Racing, the UK’s leading offshore sailing team, Hosford is responsible for the business’ overall strategic operation, as well as its flagship partnerships…

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Andy Hunt

CEO, World Sailing

With a lifelong passion for sailing and sport, Andy is the former CEO of the British Olympic Association and Chef de Mission for Team GB which achieved its best performance in 104 years at the London 2012 Games. Hunt was a non-executive Director of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games and is currently a…

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Jeremy Pochman

Director and Co-Founder, 11th Hour Racing

Jeremy Pochman is Strategic Director and Co-Founder of 11th Hour Racing, a Program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and Director of Yacht Operations for Hyperion Maritime Holdings, LLC. Water defines our lives on personal, individual, societal and global levels – the health of our oceans dictating the strength of our communities, environment and economies. Jeremy…

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Christian Dumard

Sailor and router

Christian Dumard has been professional navigator during the 80s and the 90s (Corum Sailing Team, French America’s Cup Team). Christian has being doing weather routing and pre race weather analysis for the racing boats for the past 20 years (Trophée Jules Verne, Volvo Ocean Race, Figaro sailors, Route du Rhum, …). Great Circle was founded…

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Luca Rizzotti

Founder, The Foiling Week

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. He was supported and encouraged by a few more visionaries and announced in late December the first ever Foiling Week, an…

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Mateusz Kusznierewicz

Founder, Eventory

Mateusz Kusznierewicz – professional sailor. Olympic Champion, World Champion. ISAF Rolex World Sailor of The Year. Finn, Star and Dragon sailor. 5 times Olympian. Vice President Polish Sailing Association. Entrepreneur. Experienced trainer, public speaker and mentor. Sport Director of Star Sailors League Gold Cup 2021.

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Philippe Joubin

Head of the editorial events department, Groupe Ouest-France

Long time journalist specialized in sailing for Voiles et Voiliers and the daily sport newspaper L’Equipe, Philippe Joubin is now head of the editorial events department of the Groupe Ouest-France. In this context, since the end of 2018 he has also been appointed head of Spi Ouest-France. Most important competition for sailboats in France, 440…

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Andy Rice

Owner, Sailing Intelligence

Andy is a full-time sailing journalist, broadcaster and marketing consultant, and is the editor of website www.SailJuice.com Andy has won national and European championships in a number of high performance dinghy classes. Back in the 1990s he was part of the GBR Olympic Squad in the 470 and 49er classes. Ever since his first published…

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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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Dobbs Davis

Professional sailor, journalist, instructor and project manager

Based in Annapolis, USA, Dobbs has touched on nearly every aspect of yacht racing over the past 25 years of his involvement in the game. This diverse background and a close proximity to the Grand Prix-levels of the sport gives him unique insight on the role of technological innovation and design in improving the speed, stability,…

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Don McIntyre

Founder and Race Chairman, 2018 Golden Globe Race

Don McIntyre (64) is the Founder and Race Chairman of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race and 2018 Golden Globe Race.. He has been organising sailing events and Ocean Adventures since 1984. Don is an experienced circumnavigator and recognised as one of Australia’s great explorers. In 2012 the Australian Geographic Society, recognising his many diverse expeditions…

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Jordi Arbusà

Co-Founder and CTO, Sailing Technologies

Jordi Arbusa has mixed his passion with his professional career since he started the development in 2010 of DrSails. DrSails is the latest adhesive technology that has helped most of the offshore racing teams reach their objectives. Former chemical engineer, focused on composite materials, Jordi first worked in Advanced Materials Laboratory, in the prestigious Chemical Institute…

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Scott Over

Commercial Director, World Sailing

Scott Over took up his position as Commercial Director of World Sailing on 4 March 2019. Scott is responsible for further growing and developing the world governing body’s commercial partnership programmes and supporting stakeholders with knowledge and expertise across the sport. He has a strong track record as a Commercial and Sponsorship Director and previously…

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Marc Van Peteghem

Naval architect, Oceanwings project

Born in January 9, 1957 in Paris, Marc Van Peteghem studied at Southampton Solent University from 1977 to 1979 where he became a naval architect. There he met Vincent Lauriot-Prévost with whom he became friend and together found VPLP design in 1983. VPLP became famous first in multihull design their boats won many races and…

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Dr Edit Olasz Harken

Dr Edit Olasz Harken MD PhD is a high-risk skin cancer expert and dermatologist, and founder of Harken Derm, high performance skincare line for outdoor enthusiasts.

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Alastair Fox

Chief of Events, World Sailing

Alastair is the Director of Events at World Sailing. Alastair was the Technical Delegate for the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competitions as well as at the Perth 2011 and Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships. Alastair oversees a wide range of World Sailing activities and works closely with a wide range of…

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Carole Bourlon

Eurolarge Innovation Manager, Bretagne Développement Innovation

With extensive experience as head of marketing, communication and business development in start-ups and SMEs in the nautical industry, Carole Bourlon is now manager of Eurolarge Innovation a program supported by the Brittany region, dedicated to the regional development of the competitive sailing sector. In her current role, she contributes to the development of economic…

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Yann Dollo

Deputy General Manager, CDK Technologies

Previously heading Eurolarge Innovation, Yann joined CDK Technologies in 2014 as Deputy General Manager. This mechanical engineer boasts a very sound understanding of the economics of ocean racing and brings into play his extensive experience, acquired over 15 years spent in the industrial environment as R&D and finance manager. Created in January 1984 by Hubert…

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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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Denis Glehen

CEO, GSea Design

Born in 1968, Denis is an aeronautical engineer specialized in the structural design of racing yachts. In 2010, he created GseaDesign – a structural calculation company that took momentum when it partnered with HDS in 2015. For 24 years, Denis has worked on most of the racing monohullsand multihulls in France. With his team, he…

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Mike Golding

Mike Golding OBE is one of the world’s most accomplished and successful offshore sailors. An IMOCA and FICO world champion, Mike has consistently achieved race winning performances in many of the most prestigious round the world and transoceanic races.  In 1994 Mike sailed the 67ft yacht Group 4 solo around the world – establishing a…

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Cliff Webb

CEO, 1080 Media TV

Cliff Webb is an award winning Executive TV producer, live director, and consultant for international sports productions. With thirty years’ experience of broadcast operations across traditional TV networks and online platforms, he has been involved with all aspects of event sponsorship, marketing, press and media operations. A former sports journalist, photographer and media director, and…

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Dimitri Nicolopoulos

KND-SailingPerformance

Dimitri is currently involved in the development of the Wally Cento #4 as well as data analysis for teams including Comanche, WildOats XI, Momo, Caol Ila, Alegre & SaintMichel-Virbac. Prior to KND-SailingPerformance Dimitri participated in 2 Americas Cup cycles as design coordinator ( Areva Challenge and Deutsche Challenge), 2 Audi Med Cups as performance analyst,…

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Antoine Mermod

President, IMOCA Class

Antoine Mermod is the president of the IMOCA Class. He was previously – amongst others – team manager for Pieter Heerema’s Vendée Globe campaign,Team Manager at Energy Team France and Technical Director at Fundacio Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona. Antoine studied at ENSTA ParisTech – École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées – and is a marine engineer….

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Manolo Ruiz de Elvira

Manolo (Manuel) Ruiz de Elvira is born in Madrid in 1963. He started working as designer in the America’s Cup for the ’92 edition with the birth of the AC class. After 3 campaign with Spanish challenges moved to Alinghi in 2001 and later to Oracle in 2007 to become part of 4 consecutive winning campaigns…

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Tim Godfrey

CMO, SailGP

Tim Godfrey joined SailGP in June 2019 as chief marketing officer, overseeing broadcast, distribution, content, digital, branding and promotion. Previously, as sports partnerships director with ITN Productions, Godfrey worked alongside global sports properties, broadcasters and rights holders – including the IAAF, English Football League, News UK, Channel 4 (UK) and the International Cricket Council –…

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Jean-Baptiste Durier

Director, Tour de France à la Voile / Amaury Sport Organisation

Jean-Baptiste Durier has been working for Amaury Sport Organisation since 2011, in the « development » department, in charge of increasing the company’s portfolio of clients and events in France and abroad. Jean-Baptiste Durier is also the Tour de France à la Voile’s general manager and the man behind the choice of the Diam 24….

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Rolf Beisswanger

Chief Commercial Officer, SailGP

Rolf Beisswanger serves as the chief commercial officer of SailGP and is a founding employee of the organization. In his role, Beisswanger is responsible for global revenue generation, including licensing and partnerships, as well as commercial operations. Previously, he was business development director for both Oracle Team USA and the America’s Cup Event Authority, playing…

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Andy Thompson

Chief Financial & Business Officer, SailGP

One of the organization’s founding employees, Andy Thompson is the chief financial & business officer for SailGP responsible for the overall business strategy and financial planning across the league and its six international teams, as well as the engineering facilities wholly owned by SailGP. Thompson joined SailGP following a successful tenure as CFO for the…

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Hervé Piveteau

Head of naval architecture for sailing yachts, Bénéteau group

Head of naval architecture for sailing yachts at Groupe Beneteau since 2017, Hervé Piveteau was previously an architect / designer at Victory Design in Rome, Alliaura Marine in Les Sables d’Olonne and Jeanneau in Les Herbiers. He then became head of sailboat development at Jeanneau, between 2010 to 2017. As a professional sailor, Hervé Piveteau…

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Finn Lyck

Eventmanager, Aarhus Events

Born in 1954 in Denmark. After a long career in the Danish trade union movement, he moved to the sport events business in 2000. As head of the Sport Aarhus Events and later as event manager in Aarhus Events (2 departments in the Municipality of Aarhus,) Finn Lyck, has worked with bidding for and staging…

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Meg Reilly

Media Consultant-Founder & Co-Skipper, Ocean Racers

Meg Reilly is a circumnavigator, published writer, media consultant and entrepreneur. Born 1989 in the NJ suburbs of NYC, Meg pursued a career in media and marketing within Y&R Global, one of the world’s leading advertising networks. Until one day, she quit her coveted job to race around the world. In 2013/14 Meg circumnavigated on…

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JB Braun

Director of Design and Engineering, North Sails

Before taking on his current role, JB was part of the design team for Oracle Team USA, helping to create the revolutionary foiling cats that defended the 2013 America’s Cup. JB was also instrumental in teams adopting 3Di during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. JB’s on-the-water sailing career includes a cabinet full of youth trophies,…

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Seth Cooley

Project Engineer, Future Fibres Read More

Li Li

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Viola Ignazio

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Nils Frei

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Will Carson

Racing Communications Manager, Royal Yachting Association

“I cut my teeth on regional newspapers and since then I’ve worked for every national newspaper in Britain, been the chief reporter at one of the country’s top press agencies, covered the last three Olympic Games as a broadcast reporter and producer, led content teams in numerous high profile sports events and headed up the…

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Gerardo Seeliger

President, Circulo para el Dialogo

Olympic sailor in Kiel 1972, still competing in dinghy and keel boats. I was President of the Finn, 49er and 29er Classes. Twice GM Spanish Americas Cup Challenge and President of the Challenger of Record Committee, San Diego 1975. Executive Director Association of National Olympic Committees (ACNO), closely working with IOC Management. Acted as President of Marketing…

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Pietro Parmeggiani

PROtect Tapes

Pietro Parmeggiani is the Managing Director and owner of PROtect tapes, a young and tiny Italian company based in Rimini (Italy) on the Adriatic coast and a subsidiary in USA with customer all over the world.The critical factors of his success are the combination of his business (he is CEO of multinational company as well)…

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Benoit Lebizay

Managing Partner, Gunboat

An avid sailor his whole life, Benoit Lebizay jumped ship from the Finance industry to build yachts. Benoit ran Garcia Yachting with Grand Large Yachting from 2012-2016, and since has been dedicating full attention to managing the future path and success of Gunboat.

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Loïck Peyron

Round the world sailor and America’s Cup finalist, Loïck Peyron is undoubtedly the most emblematic skipper of the “French school” of ocean racing, but his exceptional record is not enough to define this outstanding sailor. Endowed with an incredible sixth sense of the sea, Loïck Peyron is also an outstanding communicator and technician whose influence…

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Vincent Lauriot-Prévost

Founder, VPLP

In 1983, him and Marc Van Peteghem created the firm Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost (VPLP Design) and designed their first racing boat : a 50’ multihull foiler Gerard Lambert for the OSTAR. They have not looked back since. Arguably no other multihull designers have dominated in the various fields of yacht design: record setting trimarans…

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