Please select your home edition
Musto AUS 2017 LEADERBOARD Dinghy

Potent Volvo Ocean Race cocktail given a resounding shake

by Brian Hancock on 27 Sep 2017
Volvo Ocean Race CEO - Mark Turner Volvo Ocean Race
There has been a big shake-up at the Volvo Ocean Race and it comes less than a month before the next race is scheduled to start from Alicante, the port city on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

The big news is that Mark Turner is stepping down from his role as CEO. It’s not clear whether Mark is jumping or was pushed but my guess is that he found it difficult to work within the constraints of a huge organization where there are so many stakeholders each with their own agenda. Mark is used to having pretty much sole autonomy over things and getting things done on his own terms without having to move the whole ship along with him.

As an aside, I first noticed the size of the Volvo Ocean Race organization in 2012 when I attended the Volvo Legends Regatta in Alicante. There were literally hundreds of people working for the event all dressed in matching Musto outfits. There seemed to be more people employed by Volvo than all of the teams put together and I could not help but wonder how (and why) it had become so unwieldy. I hate to sound old here but ‘in my day’ it took less than a half dozen people to manage the race and that was back in the day when there was 15-18 entries. Anyway I digress.

When Mark Turner as appointed CEO in May 2015 I was thrilled. I have known Mark for a long time and have admired his drive and ambition. The VOR needed a good shake-up and if anyone was capable of getting the event back on the right track it was Mark. What followed was a series of announcements aimed at reining in costs, broadening the appeal to potential sponsors and a new boat that could potentially be used for both the Volvo Ocean Race and the Vendée Globe. This all followed on the announcement that the course would be more along the lines of the earlier races with two long Southern Ocean legs.

The official statement put out by the VOR organizers make it clear that this latest shake-up will not have any effect on the upcoming race. Well that’s good to know since we are just 25 days away from the start. They have announced that the scheduled 2019/20 race will not take place and that their breakthrough new boat will not be ready on schedule. My guess is that Mark Turner faced opposition and challenges at every turn from an organization that used to be nimble but has now become a slow moving monolith. No place for an innovator like Turner.

Please note that that this is all speculation on my part and that I have no inside knowledge. But I do have almost six decades on this planet and have been an astute (an often critical) observer of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The best thing to happen to the event in a long time was the appointment of Mark Turner as CEO and now I wonder where things will go as the ship sails rudderless while they look for a replacement CEO. It’s a pity they can’t tap Dalts but he seems to be a tad busy these days. Maybe they should ask Jared Kushner…:)

A sailor with multiple round the world races to his credit - fully crewed and shorthanded - Brian Hancock is the author of the definitive book on sailmaking - Maximum Sail Power - and the author of the All About Sails blog.

For more from Brian Hancock click here

IDS--Richard-660x82X-Yachts AUS X4 - FOOTER - 1Jeanneau AUS 2019 SO319 Footer

Related Articles

Winners crowned after successful 2019 Lincoln Week
Ichi Ban comes away with a resounding Division 1 IRC win Ichi Ban, skippered by Matt Allen, has come away with a resounding Division 1 IRC win at this year's Teakle Classic Lincoln Week Regatta, dropping just one less than perfect result to end up carrying a picket fence.
Posted today at 10:56 am
Wizard wins the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy
David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 scores best IRC corrected time David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 Wizard has won the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, scoring the best corrected time under IRC. Wizard put in a near faultless performance to complete the 600 mile non-stop race in 43 hours 38 minutes and 44 seconds
Posted today at 10:23 am
18ft Skiff Club Championship final this weekend
Can the Asko Appliances team add a 3rd title to their season record? The Asko Appliances 18ft Skiff team is set to add the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship to its trophy cabinet as the team leads the 18-strong fleet into Sunday's last race of the series on Sydney Harbour.
Posted today at 10:02 am
America's Cup: AC75 rig concept took 20 minutes
Top sail designer, Burns Fallow explains the two-skinned mainsail and AC75 rig - Part 1 Emirates Team New Zealand sail designer, Burns Fallow says the radical idea for a two skinned mainsail for the AC75 foiling monohull came up after just a 20-minute brainstorming session held a month after the America's Cup win in Bermuda.
Posted today at 3:19 am
How sailors are preparing for The Ocean Race
Two and a half years to go to the start With just over two and a half years to go to the start, the organisers and sailors are already busy preparing behind the scenes for this new event on the IMOCA calendar.
Posted on 21 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 - Class40 fight to the finish
Class40 Eärendil won Line Honours for the Class40 Division In the early hours of Thursday 21 February, after two and a half days and nights of intense competition and over 600 miles of racing, it all came down to just a few minutes.
Posted on 21 Feb
Dart 18 Worlds day 4
Competition recommences after a lay-day in Thailand Sun again and a postponed start as the wind took more time to pick up today. The competition recommenced after a lay-day and a very good party until the early hours of this morning.
Posted on 21 Feb
37th Fiji Regatta Week 2019
The dates are set for the 37th Fiji Regatta Week The dates are set and the planning is in place for the 37th Fiji Regatta Week, the event cruising and racing sailors across the Pacific consider the "must do" annual sailing event in the region.
Posted on 21 Feb
2019 Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race
Regatta standings heat up after Megga's BBQ passage race With four out of the six races now in the books, things are starting to heat up on the scoreboard at this year's Teakle Classic Lincoln Week Regatta.
Posted on 21 Feb
Sailfest Newcastle Regatta steeled for battle
The Gold Cup is leveling the playing field with AMS handicapping An initiative of the class' owner group, the Gold Cup addresses a recent decline in TP52 activity due to the widening gap between new-generation designs and older, amateur-crewed backmarkers.
Posted on 21 Feb