So, now that it’s all over, what are your thoughts about the Volvo Ocean Race? Is it the ultimate sailboat race?
It’s the best event in our sport, period. It’s doing it all – spectacular sailing, but that’s only part of it. It’s creating a fan base that the sport desperately needs, and spreading the good word of sailing. The boats open eyes everywhere they go, both sailing and on the docks, and the teams are developing personalities that people can relate to. I’ll make a case that this race was the first time that the sponsors got a good return on their investments. And getting a good return on sponsor investment is the ultimate litmus test.
What are your immediate plans, post-Volvo life?
Cruising on my powerboat with my wife and my daughter, surrounded by five miles of beach with no other people around. Kimo [Worthington] is also with us on an identical boat, so we’re having fun cruising. I’m playing a lot of golf, taking notes on this race, piecing the puzzle back together, giving ourselves grades, and dealing with sponsorship. I’m also trying my best to keep PUMA psyched.
Do you think PUMA is in sailing for the long haul? Can we expect another PUMA Ocean Racing entry in the next event?
I hope so, but there are a lot of factors that determine marketing budgets. They are putting all of their efforts towards next summer’s World Cup, which takes their mind off the marine world. So it’s up to us to keep their interest up. They are thrilled with the results they got, but there are lots of little things that need to get taken care of before they make their decision.
Do you think that you’ll do the race again?
My answer is along the same lines as the answer I gave you for PUMA. To say that this was the experience of a lifetime is a massive understatement. I got to build a team from the ground up, which is something that I’ve always wanted to do in my career. There were things that I did well and others that I did not so well, absolutely. Looking forward, I need to consider what’s best for my family. There are lots of good opportunities, and I want to make sure that PUMA is in it for the long haul. The team always comes first, and if I’m involved, great, but only if I’m the right guy.
Read the full article at: http://sailmagazine.com/racing/vor_interview_ken_read/