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Trio of Sailing Legends join Doyle Sails UK business

by Chris Sherlock 27 Mar 05:30 PDT
Adrian Stead, Brian Thompson, Mike Sanderson and Peter Greenhalgh of Doyle Sails UK © Doyle Sails

Today Doyle Sails announced that a trio of sailing legends including Adrian Stead, Brian Thompson and Peter Greenhalgh, are joining in the ownership of the Doyle Sails UK business and committing to drive the Doyle Sails brand forward both nationally and globally.

The UK Doyle loft first opened for business in 1997 and today has an impressive, modern 1000 sqm facility in Universal marina on the River Hamble, near Southampton, UK. The team provide sails for Grand Prix racing yachts, club racing teams, one design classes and coastal cruisers. Doyle is also the leading sail provider for many of the most impressive superyachts in the world.

The raised loft floor is about the size of four tennis courts and has five sewing pits which provides the capacity for work on larger sails or taking on time-dependent projects without interfering with our planned production and sail servicing. The experienced team, led by Managing Directors Tom and Philippa Milne, with Rob Larke leading the operations team, work very closely with the partner loft in New Zealand, suppliers of award winning Stratis sail membranes.

Mike Sanderson, CEO of Doyle Sails International, commented on the news: "As a business, we are all about people and I have been focusing on bringing in some world class talent to Doyle Sails over the last few years with great success. To have the experience and credibility of Ado, Brian and Peter joining the Doyle Sails team is really fantastic news and I am truly excited about working with them as we grow the brand and the business, both in the UK and globally."

Adrian Stead has a wealth of Grand Prix racing experience and is a 14 times World Champion with teams such as RAN, Bella Mente, Mascalzone Latino and Quantum Racing. The Two-time Olympian and America's Cup sailor has also got an Admirals' Cup win, double Rolex Fastnet Race win and many other offshore race wins to his credit.

Mike and his Doyle team have been working hard to expand the business and we are keen to get involved here. The product is great and has an impressive track record from J70s to superyachts. said Ado, "I'm really excited about joining Doyle Sails,"

There's been a huge step forward in technology with the Cable-less sails and we've been working hard with this on the Maxi Yacht "Bella Mente" since 2015. Last year we used Cable-less sails on the Fast 40 'RAN' and were super impressed with their set up and performance."

Brian Thompson is another well recognised British yachtsman making it into the history books by becoming the first (and only, so far) Briton to break the round the world sailing record twice. He was also the first to sail round the world non-stop four times! Brian is a vastly experienced and successful offshore sailor and was part of the Volvo Ocean Race winning team with Mike Sanderson's ABN AMRO One crew in 2005/06. Brian has sailed a great many short-handed boats including Minis, Class 40s and IMOCA 60s, in which he completed the 2008 Vendee Globe. Lately he has focused on large multihulls, especially MOD70s and 100ft+ multi-hulls.

"I am very excited to be part of the Doyle world," commented Brian, "Doyle has great materials, design, service, pricing and a worldwide infrastructure. Having sailed with Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss, I have seen how instrumental Doyle has been to his sailing campaigns. Today, the Doyle Cableless Code Zero is a real game changing product. Sailing the MOD70 Beau Geste with these gennakers, the performance gain is clear. I love to sail on a wide variety of boats, across a real mix of events, and have always enjoyed developing sail inventories to maximise performance and reliability within real world constraints. So, joining with Doyle means I can focus on this aspect even more, whilst continuing to sail on fast boats around the world."

Peter Greenhalgh has a long list of success stories across a number of classes in sailing starting out young with his pro sailing siblings, Robert and Libby Greenhalgh, Peter built experience in 420s, International 14s, small sports boats (Melges, J80s) and took part in three 49er Olympic campaigns. Peter was an early mover into the Extreme Sailing Series and has been involved in that circuit for over 10 years. He holds a unique record in that circuit winning four overall titles including the first year in 2007 and right up to 2018 finishing second and never missing the podium. Peter's skills run across sailing other grand prix racing boats including Mini Maxi 72s Fast40+, TP52s, D35s to MOD70s.

"Doyle Sails is a brand I have admired for some time now,' said Peter, "Great products, exciting new technical developments, winning impressive projects on high profile race boats. I am excited about working alongside Ado and Brian, two sailors I have massive respect for, as well as the Doyle Solent and Doyle International teams. We all share a strong work ethic, an unwavering professional approach and determination to win as part of the Doyle team there are exciting times ahead."

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