THIS is Scott Farquharson – a veritable ‘old salt’, he’s got a serious passion for sailing and, if you believe his stories, saltwater in his veins. He also happens to be Sunsail's new General Manager. We grabbed a few minutes with him to find out what makes him tick.
Q: Hi Scott. So, tell us a bit about yourself.
First and foremost, I’m a lifelong sailor. I began at about 8 sailing Cadets on the Thames and then progressed to offshore racing, however, my career in the charter industry began over 23 years ago, as a base manager in the BVI. It was a bit ‘rough and ready’, but I thoroughly enjoyed living there and operating the 60-strong fleet. The fact that I made my clients happy as well was a bonus!
Q: As a sailor, what’s been your best experience out on the water?
It wasn’t until I began sailing in the Caribbean that I realised how pleasant sailing could be. The balmy climate was a far cry from the freezing spray of the Solent (and the rum punches weren’t too bad either)!
Q: And what’s been your worst?
I sailed in the 1979 Fastnet Race. Perhaps the most scared I have ever been in my life.
Q: What made you want to take on the role of Sunsail’s GM?
For as long as I’ve been in the charter business I’ve wanted to work for Sunsail. I remember first seeing the boats at Maya Cove in the BVI. They were so well-maintained, the clients all seemed so happy and, as a competitor, I knew that their value was legendary. It’s taken me over 20 years, but I’m now a part of perhaps the most valuable, well-executed and fun charter brand on the planet – it’s a dream come true.
Q: What’s been your favourite part about working at Sunsail so far?
I was immediately struck by the fact that everyone is focused on making Sunsail and its products the absolute best. Their spirit is infectious and I’m proud to work alongside people who genuinely care. Many of them get out and brush up their skills at a sailing school, or hop onto a Flotilla and experience things from a customer’s perspective. When they return, we sit down to talk about their experiences – they almost always have great suggestions for improvements.
Q: And what would you say has been your least favourite?
Learning everyone’s names has been something of a challenge. However, apart from my own memory shortfalls, I’m thoroughly enjoying the new role.
Q: In the short-term, what do you hope to achieve at Sunsail?
I want to get the word out about what truly great value Sunsail offers, how much fun our company is, and our great variety of interesting products. Our clients get so much more than just a yacht charter – everything we do is geared towards maximum fun and making memories that will last a lifetime. Our fleet is painstakingly-designed to ensure that our customers’ holiday needs are not only met, but exceeded. Our Flotilla product remains the industry benchmark and the incredible innovation that our teams achieve is amazing.
Q: What kind of innovations are we talking about?
There’s always something new brewing – I feel like a kid in a candy store watching these projects develop. In particular, though, our new Flotilla Hero – which means customers can get their ICC and enjoy a sailing holiday in Croatia or Greece; then there’s our gourmet wine and culinary Flotillas in Italy and Croatia.
Q: And what about your longer term plans?
I want to make sure everyone knows that value is so much more than just lower pricing. It’s knowing that your holiday experience is backed up by people who really care and that Sunsail will be there if something goes wrong. Our focus is on delivering exciting new products, higher quality and better value holidays than any other charter company and making it easier to sail with Sunsail. Offering the best value is a far greater achievement than being the cheapest and it’s a challenge that everyone here takes to heart every day.
Q: Out of Sunsail’s products and destinations what would be your pick and why?
That’s a hard question – we offer so many different adventures! However, if pushed, I really want to try our wine and culinary Flotilla in Croatia. I’ve never sailed in Croatia and a Flotilla is a really nice way to ease into a new cruising ground. Plus, who doesn’t love good wine and great food? Washing down freshly caught, chargrilled sardines with a cool glass of local wine while admiring the amazing view over the water sounds like the perfect end to a day's sailing to me.