Growing up in the city of Oxford is about as far from the sea as a sailor can possibly reach. More famous for its dreaming spires than ocean exploits. A route to yacht racing started with his Godfather, a transatlantic racer and circumnavigator and also rather uniquely Oxford based.
He writes: “But after finding I was useless at rugby and cricket, I struck a chord with dinghy sailing after a beginners course and then never looked back. After a few years of dinghy and then yacht racing, I was travelling all over the place. I was lucky enough to meet many influential figures at the major yacht regattas and was part of some very successful teams along the way.
A career path in marketing split between the big smoke and Southampton was not for me, and I started at Berthon International many moons ago – briefly in then ‘Marketing Department’.
Co-incidentally, the performance brokerage desk became vacant, and when I was encouraged to go sailing and be a broker, I thought they were joking. The best of both worlds… And (cough) years later…
I am still enjoying the role and keeping current on the racetrack. It really is the only way to keep up to date and see what trends are developing. I have been lucky enough to spread myself between the sports boats J 70 and Melges classes, Maxi yachts and TP 52 Super Series in the past few years – metre yachts, IRC yachts and all, and even get into my skiff dinghy when I have a chance to keep the reactions sharp and to be reminded of the aging process.
Particularly focusing on the race yacht sector, I have expanded into the performance cruising sector – very distinct from the outdated ‘cruiser/racer’ moniker. A cruiser/racer is a racing yacht with an interior of sorts.
Performance cruising is a fast cruising yacht that has been designed for both performance in mind and comfort. No distortion in the hull forms for rule optimisation, nor race crew friendly (and cruising unfriendly) deck layouts.
I am also holding onto the reins of the boutique and semi-custom Advanced Yachts. An exquisite blend of the Milan based Nauta interior design and Reichel Pugh’s talent for designing both fast and pretty yachts. We have launched A80 #2, and 80 #3 is currently in build alongside A66 #3 at the time of writing.”