One of the Sport’s Most Experienced Sailors Joins North Sails
North Sails is proud to announce that Bouwe Bekking has joined the brand to support their Grand Prix division. Bekking is considered one of the world’s most accomplished and experienced sailors. The Dutch sailor has participated in eight around-the-world races, his first being the 1985-86 Whitbread onboard Philips Innovator and his most recent as skipper of Team Brunel during the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. His experience has earned him the moniker “Volvo Ocean Race Legend.”
Beyond endurance ocean racing, Bekking has extensive sailing experience on various boats. Bekking is a six-time World Champion in multiple classes and has claimed dozens of European and National titles. His name is also in-demand within Superyachts, where he was recently named tactician to J-Class Svea.
“Bouwe is an undisputed opinion leader in our sport,” says Ken Read, North Sails President. “He is highly respected amongst his peers and a familiar face to the global sailing audience. His expertise is a huge advantage to North Sails and our clients. As a result, Bouwe is uniquely positioned to add immediate value to our business. His input will play an important role in ensuring North Sails remains the leader in our sport.”
“Direct feedback from the field is critical to advancing the performance and application of our products,” explains Paul Westlake, Grand Prix Leader, and North Sails Executive Vice President. “Bouwe is actively using North Sails products across a wide range of boats and conditions. His candid and direct feedback is guaranteed to impact future product developments.”
“I have worked with the North Sails team at various points and with numerous projects throughout my sailing career, explains Bekking. “Whether flying off 40-foot waves in the Southern Ocean or inshore day racing, I’ve seen the evolution of the products. Product development and innovation are of particular interest, and I’m looking forward to working closely with a team who shares my ‘let’s give it a go’ attitude.”
Bekking will maintain his robust professional sailing career while supporting North Sails within Grand Prix sailing. He will work closely with his sailing peers, the North product development team, and sales leaders.
The “Volvo Ocean Race Legend” himself recently sat down with Ken Read and master sailmaker Nathan Quirk for Episode 4 of Loft 57, the North Sails Podcast. Collectively, our guests’ experience includes hundreds of thousands of offshore racing miles; Bekking onboard as a sailor, and Quirk in the sail repair loft.