Behind the scenes: new Sales Manager USA
Patrick welcome aboard! How long have you been working in the composites sector?
I began working with composites when I started racing small sailboats as a junior growing up in San Diego in the mid 70’s. Southern California was the centre of the yacht racing universe. It had the best sailors, sailmakers, boat builders and yacht designers in the world. Companies like North Sails, Quantum Sails were designing and making sails and boats for the America’s Cup and the Olympic games.
I loved to sail race as much as I could, so eventually, I began sailing for the top sail designers at North Sails which had its headquarters in San Diego. North Sails was the global leader in supplying sails for the Olympics, the America’s Cup and offshore racing. I was spending hundreds of hours on the water either racing or developing sails with the best sailors in the world who were Olympic gold medallists and world champions. What became clear to me was the sailmakers always had the fastest boats as well. So I began to learn about high performance composite boat construction during same time. As a result, at age 19, I helped build the composite boat I raced in the 1981 world championships where I finished first place.
What are the most interesting projects you have coordinated during your career?
One the more interesting projects was building the mast I used in the 1998 Olympics sailing competition.
I was racing in the Tornado catamaran class and carbon fiber masts were not allowed in the Olympics, only aluminium masts were class legal. So my sailing partner and I developed a mast made of Aluminium-Lithium which technically is a composite but still class legal. It was extremely fast compared to the standard 7075 aluminium mast. It was much lighter and stiffer. At the time, Aluminium Lithium was only used on the Space Shuttle.Another great project was making the first all-carbon fiber bicycles used in the Tour de France. I was working for small custom bike frame builder in San Francisco. A few months before the Tour, Greg Le Mond stopped by and rode a prototype bike around the parking lot for about 5 minutes. He placed an order for his entire team on the spot. We had a very small group of five builders. It was all-hands on deck to get them finished in time.Probably one of the wildest programs was working at Southern Spars building carbon fiber masts for 3 different teams racing in 1995 America’s Cup. At the time, there weren’t any limits on equipment, so a team could build as many masts, boats and sails as they wanted. It was a true arm race. The teams keep wanting their masts lighter and lighter as the racing continued over the summer, so we worked day and night making lighter versions.
What tasks will you cover in the company?
My responsibilities will cover sales and marketing of the Microtex Composites products. But first and foremost, listening to our customers’ needs and bringing in the technical team into the discussions with the customer early in a program to help deliver the best solutions from a quality, technical and value standpoint for the customer.
Last but not least why did you choose us?
Microtex Composites is operating at a higher level, more than any company I have experienced in the composites industry. Leadership always starts at the top of an organization and the management team at Microtex Composites is driven to find the best solutions for the customer.