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Volume 25 No. 212
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A Day In The Life With 1 Degree Sailing CEO Mark Towill

As both CEO and co-skipper of 1 Degree Sailing, which plans to compete in the next edition of The Ocean Race in ’21-22, MARK TOWILL doubles as one of his team’s top leaders, both on and off the boat. His days at sea during an Ocean Race competition, which takes place every three years, are non-stop, as teams in the race cover 45,000 miles over nine months. When on shore in Kaneohe, Hawaii, his agenda is packed as well, starting when he gets to work at 5:00am. Towill recently caught up with THE DAILY and described his offseason routine.

5:00-8:00am
: I live in Hawaii, and a lot of the folks that we’re dealing with are either in Europe or the East Coast, so 5:00am here is 5:00pm in Europe. Sometimes I’m up as early 3:00am, 4:00am or 5:00am jumping on calls. A lot of my early business in the morning is catching up on what’s happened throughout the day and the previous day over in Europe. It’s split over a number of facets between business development and future sponsorship acquisition -- I’d say I probably spend about 50% of my time on that. The rest is on overseeing operations, keeping tabs on our sustainability program, our marketing and communications team and then the rest of the technical stuff as it relates to the sailing and the actual development and performance of the boat. I’m touching a lot of different elements of the campaign.

8:00-9:00am: I try to squeeze a workout in. I just went for a run. If I’m not trying to get some cardio in, then I try to hit the gym for some light cross-training and grab some breakfast.

Towill said that they are in the process of designing a new boat for the upcoming Ocean Race
Photo: VOLVO OCEAN RACE

9:00-12:00pm: It’s usually back to the computer. At that point, Europe is sort of shutting down and I’m getting on the phone with my business partner, CHARLIE ENRIGHT. We’re strategizing; it turns a little bit more technical. We’re in the process of designing and hopefully building a new boat for the upcoming Ocean Race. We’re looking at the technical and design elements, a little more performance-focused. That’s where my head’s at, mixed in with other calls and sponsorship stuff.

12:00-4:00pm: In the afternoon, if we’re doing any sailing or training, I try to get down to the boat and we’ll get out on the water. Charlie leads all the technical and sailing side of the campaign, so his morning is focused on determining what are going to be the things we’re focused on when we’re on the water and driving that process forward. So, I get on the boat and participate in the actual sailing and racing of the team. We’re looking at really specific things, working on maneuvers or trying to look at a particular crossover between two different sails. It’s very performance-driven and we’re trying to continue developing the boat and the progression of the performance so that by the time the actual race comes around, we understand our boat and have the most technologically advanced boat.

4:00-6:00pm: We get off the water, and then there’s usually a little bit of a debrief on the day’s takeaways from the performance standpoint. I try to sneak away and get back to my computer and allow the rest of the team to focus on the technical stuff. I try to catch back up on whatever I’ve missed in the afternoon on the business development/sponsorship side. 

6:00-10:30pm: I catch up with my wife, TAHNEE, for dinner and have some structured, decompressed time -- maybe throw on a sports game, try to chill out for a little bit. Before heading off to bed, I’ll sit down and take 15 or 20 minutes and come up with a to-do list for the main priorities for the next day. I try to be in bed by 10:30.

Know of someone who should be featured in "A Day in the Life"? Send a note to mchupita@sportsbusinessdaily.com.