Dutchman Tom Touber will further strengthen Volvo Ocean Race top management with his appointment announced today as Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Touber, 48, who has significant experience with the Race and within sailing generally, will report directly to CEO Knut Frostad and will assume operational responsibilities from Race headquarters in Alicante from September 3.
He managed both the winning ABN AMRO team in the 2005-06 Race as well as the Delta Lloyd campaign in the 2008-09 edition. In addition, he was also engaged as a consultant by Frostad in preparing stopovers for the last Race, the closest and most successful in the event’s history which was won by French boat Groupama 4 in July.
In 1997-98 Touber was an executive board member of Brunel International and responsible for the sponsorship of their participation in that edition of the Race.
“I am delighted to welcome Tom on board and I believe his experience, passion and dedication to our Race will further strengthen our position going forward,” said Frostad. “The Race is standing at one of the most exciting moments in its history, having introduced a new one-design class and several other measures to grow its fleet and improve the sponsor and audience experience even more in the next edition.
“A strong and dedicated team at the helm of the Race is essential and I am looking forward to grabbing this great opportunity with Tom on board which strengthens our top level management even further.”
Touber said on joining the management team: “After my first experience in the Volvo Ocean Race in 1997, I really got excited about the characteristics of the Race.
“The enormous challenge teams have to face to participate in this event, as well as the leadership and teamwork required to win provide a great platform to build and reinforce brands. Volvo Cars and Volvo Group and many of the team sponsors have shown how to do this by utilising the values of the Race.
“All projects that I was involved in brought more then we expected. I am really excited to be part of the Race Management now. I am sure that the new phase the Volvo Ocean Race is entering will enhance the competitiveness of the event and make it more attractive than ever.
“The fact that the barrier of entry for teams is lowered to 3 to 4 million euros per year makes this one-design ocean race an even better sponsor opportunity than ever. Shaping the operations around this new phase is my passion and I look forward to working with Knut Frostad and the rest of the team to make it happen.”
The 11th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, finished in Galway, Ireland in July this year. The next edition, featuring a new high-performance one-design boat, will begin from Alicante in 2014.
The race, which dates back to 1973 and is regarded as sailing’s toughest and most prestigious offshore event, is a world class sporting property and a unique sponsorship opportunity. An all-women’s crew, backed by global hygiene and forest products company SCA, has already announced it will be competing in the next edition in 2014-15.
(Text and photos: Volvo Ocean Race)