Since 2005, the names Wild Oats XI and Mark Richards have been synonymous with the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, one of the world’s most challenging and gruelling ocean races. Wild Oats XI is the 30-metre long, state-of-the-art supermaxi owned by legendary Australian winemaker, Bob Oatley.
Mark Richards, better known as ‘Ricko’, is the captain – the man at the helm – of that sleek sailboat, and since he, Bob Oatley, and the yacht came together they have forged one of the most potent forces in the world of ocean yacht racing: Wild Oats XI has become the most successful yacht in the 68-year history of the Hobart race, and Mark Richards the most successful skipper.
As of 2014, Wild Oats XI, skippered by Mark Richards, has won a record eight Sydney to Hobart races.
But, perhaps surprisingly, it is not just ocean racing or any other form of sailing that connects Mark Richards to the marine industry.
Richards is the founder of Palm Beach Motor Yachts and now CEO for the Singapore based luxury motor yacht builder, Grand Banks Yachts Limited.
Grand Banks Yachts is a global brand well known for its vast experience in manufacturing and selling luxury motor yachts. The Grand Banks brand is recognized across the globe for superior quality and craftsmanship which created one of the most acclaimed and highly sought-after yachts on the market today. The Group’s manufacturing facility is located in Pasir Gudang in Malaysia. Grand Banks has dealers based in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Palm Beach Motor Yachts is known for its modern technology and impeccable craftsmanship. All yachts are meticulously designed and constructed with cutting edge materials and allows for a full suite of customizable options. The company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility operate out of Berkeley Vale, Australia.
In 2014, Grand Banks Yachts Limited acquired a 100% stake in Palm Beach Motor Yacht Co Pty Ltd Australia and has welcomed Mark Richards as the CEO of the enlarged group.
Upon joining Grand Banks, Richards said: “This transaction was a major personal decision driven by my firm belief that the expanded investment and development of both Palm Beach and Grand Banks, together with the skills and collective will of the two brands, will combine to make the enlarged group one of the world’s leading luxury boat-building companies. I have deep respect for the Grand Banks brand, and it is a great honor for me to further strengthen the brand and to lead it to continued success.”
At ASMEX 2015, Richards will share his journey both as the Founder of Palm Beach Motor Yachts and as the CEO of Grand Banks and his views of the Australian market and the global opportunities. Mark will also be sharing a brief insight into skippering Wild Oats XI for the Sydney Hobart race and his winning formula of Leadership, Decision Making and Team Work.
The conference held at the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel at Sanctuary Cove, Queensland runs over 2 days, 19-20 May and includes a welcome function and the prestigious 2015 Australian Marine Export and Superyacht Awards Gala Dinner.
The conference is conveniently organised to be held immediately prior to the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and the Gold Coast Marine Expo ensuring maximum opportunity for all key industry exhibitors and stakeholders to attend.
AIMEX CEO MaryAnne Edwards encourages industry to register now for the conference. Edwards said “All sponsors have come back on board allowing us to develop an amazing conference program and keep the conference registration fee to a minimum for our members. With this caliber of speakers, ASMEX 2015 promises it will deliver another valuable and informative conference for industry.”
Valued sponsors of this year’s conference include: AMSA, Department of Industry, Queensland Government, Gold Coast Council, Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, Pantaenius, Muir Winches, Aurora Yacht Logistics, Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard, VEEM, Pyrotek, Efic, AWL Grip, Palm Products, MTU, Aqualuma, Australia Made, Sea Keeper, Twin Disc & Negociants Australia.
Media sponsors include: The Superyacht Group, Ocean Media, Superyacht Business and International Boat Industry (IBI).
To catch Mark Richards at ASMEX 2015 register via www.aimex.asn.au/events/asmex-conference/
The full detailed conference program can be also be found at www.aimex.asn.au/events/asmex-conference/