North Sails NEWS


Olympic Medalist and Volvo Ocean Race Winner Named North Sails UK General Manager

North Sails is excited to welcome world-renown sailor Ian Walker to their management team. Walker is a two-time Olympic medalist, an America’s Cup veteran, and winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 as skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. He most recently served as Performance Director to the British Sailing Team, who claimed five medals at the 2020 Tokyo games. Walker’s next career move puts him at the helm of North Sails UK for the world’s leading sailmaker.

“Lowell North founded this business on a simple philosophy – get the best people and commit yourself to make the best product,” says Ken Read, President of North Sails. “Ian sits amongst the best in our sport. He possesses a winning attitude and a level of knowledge that’s invaluable to our brand and all North Sails customers. Having sailed against Ian, I know he’s a fierce competitor and simply a good guy. We’re honored to have him join our team.”

“The expertise from someone of Ian’s caliber is one of the greatest resources we can offer all of our customers,” remarks John Welch, COO of North Sails. “Each North Sails Manager is more than a champion sailor or a sail expert. They become a part of a tight-knit team working towards the common goal of developing superior products and delivering exceptional support for sailors at every level of our sport.”

“North has a long history and rich tradition of being at the forefront of sailmaking,” Walker explains. “Joining North Sails is an excellent opportunity to be an active voice in the marine industry and part of the industry’s leading brand. It’s clear that everyone on the North Sails team has a passion for helping people get the most of their sailing, and my new role presents a unique opportunity to work alongside talented, like-minded sailors.”

Walker’s official start date is August 1st, 2022. He will be based at the North Sails loft in Gosport, UK.

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