Anna Lynch, the sponsorship manager for Team Sanya in the 2011/2012 VOR
Born and raised in Salthill, sailing enthusiast Anna Lynch has followed the Volvo Ocean Race for as long as she can remember. However, it wasn’t until the race stopover in Galway in 2009 that she realised it could be an opportunity to combine her passion and knowledge of sailing with her skills in marketing.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce from NUI Galway, Anna took up a position at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, where she co-ordinated sailing events alongside her marketing position.
She knew she had found her niche and after working with the Volvo Ocean Race on a voluntary basis in 2009, was determined to turn it into a job for the next race.
"My background has been great for this job, I’ve used elements of everything,” Anna says.
But while he skills were suited to the position, she’s adamant that it was pure determination and hard work that brought about her involvement in the race this time around.
"After the last race, I let it be known amongst people working in the race that I would love to work on it and I didn’t let up on that dream until it happened!”
Lynch, who went on her first sailing trip at just six weeks old, says her whole life is one big sailing memory. Her love for the sport runs deep, which is why, despite the pressures, she found this year so enjoyable.
"When you love something so much you’re just inherently interested in everything to do with it,” says Lynch.
"You know when you’re so passionate about something your enthusiasm for it helps you in your work environment but also helps you spread that enthusiasm, and gets people to engage in what you’re doing.”
Anna, who was working with Let’s Do It Global, visited all the race stopovers promoting and generating support for Galway as the final race destination and Ireland as a holiday destination. The initiative came through Discover Ireland, which was a sponsor of the Chinese race entry Team Sanya.
Despite witnessing stopovers in Rio, Miami and Abu Dhabi to name a few, Lynch insists that Galway was the highlight of the year for all involved, adding that the team and the crews were astounded by the level of support shown by the city and its visitors throughout the event.
"Having such a huge event in such a small place meant everybody knew about it and supported it, unlike in larger city stopovers like Rio, where it was just another event that rolled in to town,” she notes.
Although Anna says travelling around the world with a great team was amazing, incorporating the sailing element in to her work was really special and she would love to continue to combine her hobby with her work.
"I’m in talks to be involved with another sailing campaign so if that goes ahead, it would see me involved in another round-the-world campaign until December 2013.”
But the Galway woman still has her sights set on the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, saying that she will "start hounding people” to get work if the hugely successful event returns!
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