North Sails NEWS

March 7, 2019


Women Who Play Key Roles Within The Leading Sailmaking Brand

© Mark Jardin

Josie Gliddon is Global Finance Transformation Lead at North Sails, based in Gosport, UK. Day to day, you can find her making sure our numbers can be reconciled. After work and on the weekends, you’ll find her on the water.

How did she start sailing? At eight, Josie went to sailing camp with her sister and got hooked. Her dad bought her a wooden Optimist, which she named Snoopy.

Her parents had a Norfolk Dinghy, but racing as a family was nothing compared to the independence of sailing an Opti down the river with friends, playing pirates and having a great time. Josie she will compete at the J/70 Worlds this year. She will also be racing the Fastnet on a J/122, her second year with the team; she is hoping to be navigator again because she enjoys that role.

“You feel like a complete beginner again, and foiling tacks are difficult. Being able to make it around the racecourse in 25 knots of breeze is extreme.”

© Mark Jardin

“I’m not top 10 of the Moth fleet yet, but I’m fully mixing it up with the rest of the sailors. Being able to foil around the course and properly race the Moth to its full potential is the best feeling in the world.” Josie is small, so she uses a “kiddy” rig to compete against larger sailors.

Josie’s next big Moth regatta is Foiling Week in July. Last year six women registered, and Josie placed first overall in the women’s division; she also finished in the top third overall, “which is more of the win in my books because I don’t necessarily compete at a female level. I compete on the same start line like everyone else.” The boat’s developmental approach gives plenty of opportunities for women to be competitive once they get the technique down.

© Martina Orsini

Josie gets out in her Moth as much as she possibly can. Her husband Paul also races Moths, so she is grateful to have his support and time with a good teacher.

“He’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so he likes his mountain bike, windsurfing, and he loves the Moth. It’s great. We can go sailing after work, and we can also go sailing at weekends and spend much time all week together.”

Since accounting jobs never disclose the company in the job specifications, Josie says;

“Try and find a company that you’re passionate about is almost unheard of. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and someone rung me up and said, “Are you looking for a job?” This was my dream job.”

Asked what she likes about working for North Sails, she said she enjoys the challenge. “Yes it is hard sometimes but everybody’s really passionate about doing the right thing. Whether it’s the Design team, Sales, Manufacturing or us in Finance, we’re all trying to do our very best, and that doesn’t exist in many companies that I’ve worked for in the past. I believe in the brand. I believe in the company. I want the business to grow. That’s why I like working here.

“Everybody’s passionate about doing the right thing,” she says. “Whether it be the design team or the sales team or the manufacturing team or us in finance, we’re all trying to do our very best, and that doesn’t exist in many companies that I’ve worked for in the past. I believe in the brand. I believe in the company. I want the business to grow. That’s why I like working here.”

Josie [middle], top female at 2018 Moth Europeans © Martina Orsini

Josie enjoys her job for many reasons and enjoys working to help get more women into the sport of sailing. Knowing she has many sailmakers to choose from when she goes out on the water, she sticks to North because “The results speak for themselves. The thing which stands out for me from a client perspective is that there’s this element that North Sails gives that perhaps isn’t the physical, tangible thing that you buy. What you’re buying are these added intangible services. North provides expertise across the board. The services teams go beyond to assist clients globally, as well as North’s designers and experts, who are also excellent sailors and spend time on the water to create the best possible products. You can’t put a price on that, and that’s what sets North apart from the many other sailmakers.”

Juggling her day to day job and her passion?

“The answer is I work hard to play hard,” says Josie. I immerse myself in everything I do. I’ve always had this philosophy that if you have two passions that both inspire you, it makes you more efficient at both.”

When Josie isn’t at work or on the water, she’s staying fit. She works out five days a week, with her Spotify playlist as her gym buddy. [House music is her favorite!] Other than her goals of staying fit and keeping her head in the game both in the office and on the water, her goals for this sailing season other than to be top female finisher are to break into the top 20 at Foiling Week, Top 20 at J/70 Worlds, and to complete the Fastnet.

We are excited to see what her 2019 season brings, and we’ll keep an eye out for her on the starting line, where she is known to take an occasional port-tack flyer.

📽️ Day Three of Moth Worlds in 2017, Josie [sail # 3877] races in from the port end of the line in big breeze. Go Josie!

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