Cowes-based The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), which has a 4,000-strong worldwide membership, has announced Jeremy Wilton as the club’s new Chief Executive.

He will take over the leadership and development role of one of the world’s most influential yacht clubs from Eddie Warden Owen, who has helped shape the success of the Club through its international offshore racing programme for the past 12 years.

RORC Commodore, James Neville said:

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“We look forward to welcoming Jeremy who has an excellent understanding of leading membership-based clubs and a proven record of delivering strong financial and commercial results. Having held senior leadership positions in the World of Rugby, where he spent over seven years, working at Bath Rugby and Wasps, as well as over a decade at Whitbread PLC and founded and developed a marketing communications agency, we are certain that Jeremy’s experience and vision will be a huge asset, ensuring that the RORC is in a strong position as it nears the Club’s centenary in 2025.”

Jeremy Wilton says of his new role:

 “I understand what it means to be part of a successful culture and together with the RORC Committee, management and staff, I am determined to continue the Club’s evolution and make it the best it possibly can”.

Speaking about the club and the sport of sailing coming out of the current COVID-19 situation, Wilton comments:

“It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on business practices and social life in London and the sailing programme and clubhouse in Cowes and as we emerge from the pandemic, we are going to have our challenges, but with these will bring exciting opportunities and new avenues for innovation.”

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During his time at Whitbread PLC, Jeremey oversaw and developed a sponsorship portfolio that covered 2 Whitbread Round the World Races. He is a keen sailor having started sailing in dinghies of various shapes and sizes before graduating to offshore racing. He has competed in the Rolex Fastnet Race and nearly all of the RORC’s long-distance races; numerous Cowes Week regattas, and narrowly missed out on representing Great Britain in the Admiral’s Cup.

Warden Owen will step down from the overall running of the RORC this month but will continue to work on delivering the Club’s flagship event – the 49th Rolex Fastnet Race starting from Cowes on Sunday 8th August and finishing for the first time in Cherbourg, France.

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