Volvo Ocean Race's new rudder - pt 1


Glenn Bourke the Volvo Ocean Race's new CEO talks to James Boyd about his plans for the next race
While most Volvo Ocean Race pundits were expecting another tall blonde Swede with a senior management background to end up in the new CEO’s post, it has come as some surprise that the new man filling Helge Alten’s shoes is a tall dark haired 41 year old Australian. ”I guess a few of us thought that that might be the way they might go,” agrees Glenn Bourke, who last week was appointed the new Volvo Ocean Race CEO. “I gather their rationale is that someone with more knowledge of the sport, might be more beneficial particularly with the decision to change the class.” The appointment of Glenn Bourke gives some needed confidence in the future of the Volvo Ocean Race, following the departure of Michael Woods, the Director of Race Operations and the recent retirement of Helge Alten, Although Burke nominally assumes his duties now, he doesn’t formally start work at the Volvo Ocean Race offices until mid-November. Among the sailing fraternity the choice of Bourke has been a popular one. He has a longer sailing CV than many Volvo Ocean Race competitors with three Laser World Championship titles, two Olympic campaigns (1980 and 1992) and two America’s Cup (Kookaburra in 1987 and as tactician on OneAustralia in 1995). But it was less his racing credentials that won Bourke his new job, than his management skills. During the last Volvo Ocean Race he managed the winning illbruck Challenge team, but he had achieved an even bigger function prior to that, running the sailing side of the Sydney Olympics “which,” he says, “is probably more similar in terms of the scope of the job, to this.” Bourke also for a time after the Olympics, managed the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, organiser of the Sydney-Hobart race. “So the last three appointments

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