Mark Turner

Ellen's Project Director discusses their plans for the future, life, the universe, etc...
Among the movers and shakers within yacht racing, few have achieved as much in such a short period of time as Mark Turner. Turner has been instrumental in Ellen MacArthur's formidable career development - sponsorship from Kingfisher for a new Open 60 when Ellen was just 22, Europe 1 New Man STAR win aged 23, Vendee Globe second place aged 24, BT/YJA Yachtsman of the Year, MBE, Lacoste FICO World Champion, ISAF Yachtswoman of the Year and most recently second place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ahead of Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen. Never has yachting seen such a meteoric rise. Turner's ability to help Ellen on her way stems from the various aspects of his background. He has done a lot of yacht racing - he sailed part of the Whitbread Round the World race on board British Defender in 1989/90 and developed close ties in the French sailing community taking part in the Mini Transat in 1997 and the Figaro class' double handed Transat AG2R the previous year. As Marketing Director of Spinlock he gained a strong technical knowledge about boats and got to know many of the key players in the international yacht racing industry as well as the oportunity to hone his marketing skills. Equally important was Turner's work ethic. Those who work with him say he redefines the term 'working flat out'. During the Vendee project he and Ellen became severe workaholics - hard at it often 20 hours a day, much of it spent in airport lounges beavering away on their Macs with cellphones red hot, has certainly been one key to their success. Turner's involvement the Kingfisher project was such that some critics around the time of the Vendee Globe accused him of 'moulding' the young Ellen in a