Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Ken Read named as new President of North Sails Group

by Sail-World on 13 Dec 2012
Ken Read (centre) Volvo Ocean Race - Skippers Media Conference, March 16, 2012 © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com

North Sails announced today that Volvo Ocean Race skipper and veteran sailmaker Ken Read will return to North Sails in the role of president in early January, 2013. Read will take over for current president Gary Weisman, who has served at the helm of the world's largest sailmaker for 16 years, and who plans to retire within the next 4 months.

'This is an important and exciting time in the world of sailing, sailmaking and in the history of North Sails,' said North Technology Group CEO Tom Whidden. 'We are absolutely thrilled to have Kenny back in the mix transitioning into the role of North’s president.'

'Gary has done an absolutely fantastic job and he will be missed dearly by not only me, but all North Sails employees who have gotten to know him so well during his 39-year career at North,' Whidden continued. 'Gary plans to stay involved with the company in the short-term and he and Kenny will work closely to make the transition as seamless as possible.'

Read started working for North Sails in 1996, yet has taken four sabbaticals to participate in some of sailing’s elite events. He was the CEO of PUMA Ocean Racing and skippered PUMA’s Mar Mostro during the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) and il mostro in the 2008-09 edition of what is known as the 'world's toughest sailboat race.' Prior to the Volvo Race, Read skippered two America's Cup teams for Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes in 2000 and 2003.

'Sailing has been my lifeblood since I was very young and it's such an honor to return to what I consider the marine industry's top brand' said Read, who has been involved with the sailmaking industry for 29 years. 'My number one goal is to continue to build on the success of North Sails, which includes helping to educate sailors about the technology behind every North sail that is designed and delivered,' continued Read, who will be based in Newport, RI. 'But I also want to help the sport of sailing grow here in the United States. After sailing around the world twice, I have visited dozens of countries where sailing is huge. In Europe, the South Pacific, South America, and even the Far East, sailing is equivalent to football and baseball here in the U.S. and I will work hard to help make our sport more visible so everyone in the sailing industry can benefit,' he said. 'I look forward to getting back into the business of selling and developing North Sails products. I've been the largest North Sails customer in North America for the past six years so I have a unique perspective on how North Sails works from the inside and outside, and where there are possibilities for improvement.'

Gary Weisman, who started working for North Sails in 1974, has bittersweet emotions about stepping down as president. 'A part of me is really sad to leave this company that has allowed me to sail with some amazing people and be part of building what is now the biggest and most technologically advanced sailmaking company in the world,' Weisman said. 'But another part of me is excited to hand over the reins to a very capable and well-known sailmaker and sailor - Ken Read - who I know will do a remarkable job. When I look back on my years here at North, I have some great memories and will always be thankful to Lowell North who hired me nearly 39 years ago and to Terry Kohler who invested in all of us and helped grow North Sails to what it is today,' Weisman concluded.

About North Sails: North Sails has become the worldwide leader in sailmaking through an ongoing commitment to designing and building sails that are faster, lighter and longer lasting than any other sails in the world. In 1992, North Sails introduced 3DL and more recently introduced 3Di, both revolutionary sailmaking technologies that thermo-mold sails as a unitary membrane on full-sized 3-dimensional molds. North Sails is part of North Technology Group, LLC, a diverse family of companies serving marine and manufacturing markets worldwide. Each was founded on the principle of delivering advanced performance through superior technology. For more information, visit: http://www.northsails.com

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
NaiadEnsign 660North Technology - Southern Spars