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Melissa Payne takes the helm for Golden Globe Race and Ocean Globe Races

Following a 12 month media blackout with respect to the global pandemic, the 2022 Golden Globe and 2023 Ocean Globe Races are now back in the news with a permanent office opened in Les Sables d’Olonne, France and a major media appointment to the management team.

The Golden Globe Race currently has 28 entrants from 11 countries and the Ocean Globe Race 26 entrants from 17 countries.

Ocean Globe Race Stopover ports and route will be finalised in September 2021.

Don McIntyre founder of the Ocean Globe Race (OGR) and the Golden Globe Race (GGR) announced today in Les Sables d’Olonne, that former senior IMG executive Melissa Payne, is now officially Chief Executive Officer (Media) for the two, historic, round-the-world sailing events.

Payne, who left IMG last year after 20 years, was previously Vice President, Head of Technical Services and also Head of Sailing/Nautical Sports at IMG Media. During her time at IMG, she worked on two America’s Cups, the World Match Racing Tour, Extreme Sailing Series, the Volvo Ocean Race and the H20 series.

Her new role will oversee all media requirements for the two events, including sponsorship, media sales, production and distribution. She is currently in the process of assembling an experienced team, to work across both events. The GGR starts in Sept 2022 and the OGR in Aug 2023 – marking the 50th anniversary of the original Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race.

Don McIntyre, also Race Chairman of the GGR and OGR, said:

This appointment kick starts our event promotions following a 12 month delay due to Covid. We are really excited to have Melissa and her team onboard. She comes with a huge amount of knowledge and is passionate about all sports, but, in particular, sailing. She brings an impressive track record to the table and understands the value of our unique retro events, which focus on the human story, adventure and extraordinary challenges, for ordinary, not elite, sailors.

Don McIntyre

Payne said:

Sailing has always been my passion and these are two incredibly exciting and tough races that will capture the imagination of sailors and non-sailors, across the globe. For me, it’s great to have an opportunity to look after projects from a 360° stand-point and look to secure the widest possible exposure and success, for both events.

There will be a number of different sponsorship opportunities for brands and companies to become involved with, in both the GGR and OGR, each of which has its own unique appeal; and, I am extremely excited to be working alongside Don and his team.

Melissa Payne

The Golden Globe Race is the original round the world yacht race, where, in 1968, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the only sailor to complete the first, solo, non-stop, round-the-world sailing race. In 2018, in celebration of 50 years since that first record-breaking achievement, the Golden Globe Race was resurrected. It returns again in September 2022 from Les Sables d’Olonne.

Robin Knox-Johnston, winner of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Photo Credit: PPL

The Ocean Globe Race is a fully crewed, retro race, in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread round-the-world Race and marks the 50th Anniversary of the original event.

Starting in Europe in September 2023, the OGR is a 27,000-mile sprint around the Globe. Encompassing four legs, which take in the Southern Ocean and three great Capes.

Payne joins three other key personnel, Sebastien Delasnerie (Joint Media Director), Aida Valceanu (Public Relations and Major Events OGR) and Jane Zhou (Finance and Admin).

Sayula II
‘Sayula II’ skippered by Ramon Carlin, returning to Portsmouth to win the first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race

Blonde Ambitions CEO Melissa Payne

I have 25 years of experience in the sporting/event world. From production, technical and commercial project management, I have done it all. Whether the sporting talent has two legs or four, takes place on land or on water, I have covered it. Alongside my Vice President hat at IMG, I was also Head of Sailing/Nautical Sports for 15 years, during which time, I have managed, 2 x America’s Cups, World Match Racing Tour, Extreme Sailing Series, Volvo Ocean Race, Class One and the H20 series, and have a strong nautical CV and many contacts within the industry. I am extremely excited by these projects and have started to build a great team. As I have said many times before, you don’t need an army, just like-minded passionate people, who all have the same goal, to ensure all events/sports are a huge success.

Blonde Ambitions Head of Operations Gary Norman

I come to this project with 30+ years of Broadcasting and Media experience, gained at the BBC, IMG and BSKYB, where I helped launch Skysports. I have worked on almost everything from Olympic Games and Ryder Cups, to basketball, darts, Premier League football, equestrian and even fishing. I’ve been in front of the camera as well as behind it and I look forward to bringing all that experience to this project, undoubtedly, one of the highlights of my career to date.

Blonde Ambitions Head of Production Selim Kemahli

I started Case Productions 26 years ago as a small production house in Istanbul, Turkey. We now have offices in London, Dubai, Istanbul and Los Angeles and handle a whole host of World Championship series as well as all the local work that we do around the world. I have been involved with the Class 1 World Offshore Powerboat Championship, The F1 World Inshore Circuit Championship, The World Jet Ski Championship, The World Kiteboarding Championship and The World Parkour Championship to name but a few over the last 15 years as well as working closely on some extreme projects with Red Bull and and the Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Team. We have worked on major saling regattas and Olympic windsurf qualifiers as well as the World Surf League hence are very familar with the intracacies and requirements of working with on water activities. I am hopeful that I can use all of this experience and expertise to help produce some outstanding content for the GGR and OGR.

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