Businessman and yachtsman Tom Dodson has been appointed President of Auckland, NZ-based Southern Spars.Dodson is best known internationally for his leadership of North Sails New Zealand since 1985 and for his success in international grand prix yacht racing. Under his direction, North Sails Auckland has become one of the most successful sailmaking firms in North’s international loft network and a preferred supplier for many leading racing syndicates and SuperYacht projects.
Dodson joins the Southern Spars senior management team of Director and V.P. Sales Mark Hauser, Design Director Steve Wilson, and Chief Operating Officer Lou Cadman. His main focus will be to further expand Southern Spars global business as the world market leader in carbon fiber spars, marine components and rigging systems.
“Dodson’s experience with North Sails suits Southern’s philosophy of total rig and sail design integration,” says Mark Hauser. “His experience, coupled with two America’s Cup campaigns aboard Team New Zealand, gives Tom first hand knowledge of maximising total rig performance at the highest level.”
“Southern Spars has undergone rapid growth in the past few years,” says North Marine Group CEO Tom Whidden. “The time is right to appoint someone with Dodson’s unique knowledge and experience to take responsibility for the company’s strategic direction and future growth.” The Auckland, NZ-based company has expanded its international base in the past 18 months with new service centers in La Ciotat on the French Mediterranean coast and in Newport, Rhode Island.
A one-design manufacturing division was also added recently in Auckland to complement the company’s core business in custom-made spars and rigs for grand-prix racing teams and SuperYachts. The company currently employs 175 people, in sales, design, manufacturing and service.
Tom Dodson first represented New Zealand in the Finn and Soling class at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic games. After joining the North Sails team, he then went on to compete successfully in numerous Admiral’s Cup events, ton Cups and World championships before joining Team New Zealand’s afterguard for the 2000 and 2003 America’s Cups.
The North Marine Group is an international group of companies founded on state-of-the-art engineering, advanced construction methods and a premium performance position within their markets. North Sails is the worldwide leader in sailmaking and exclusive manufacturers of patented 3DL thermo-molded sails, the world's dominant sailmaking technology; North Sports is a premium clothing company in Europe marketing sailing sportswear under the North Sails brand; Edgewater Powerboats manufacturers a line of responsive outboard powerboats in North America from 13-28 ft. featuring a patented unsinkable hull structure and superior seaworthy performance; Auckland, NZ based Southern Spars is the world leader in composite spars and marine components for sailing yachts from one-designs to SuperYachts.