• Spain's news in English

'Entrepreneurialism is alive and well in Spain'

The Local · 8 Jun 2015, 09:17

Published: 08 Jun 2015 09:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 44-year-old dual US-UK citizen has lived in six countries doing a variety of jobs from Naval aviation to telecoms consulting to M&A with Ford Motor Company. Now he has settled in Barcelona where he has devoted himself entrepreneurially to developing air sports events such as the Air Race 1 which will take place in Lleida later this month.

What is the idea behind Air Race 1?

Air Race 1 is the first international title in the sport of formula one air racing.  In formula one air racing, eight airplanes race together on the circuit directly against each other trying to be the first one to cross the finish line at speeds of up to 450kph.  The sport has been around for nearly 70 years but only national or local events.  So what we are trying to do is to bring the community together, develop it into a professional series and introduce this amazing sport to new audiences and make it more accessible and mainstream.  We have the recognition of the three formula one air racing associations (from USA, UK and France) who sanction and run the contests and we are the global promoter and rights-holder to the series, called the Air Race 1 World Cup.

Why do it in Spain?

We have been looking all over the world for venues to host this exciting sport and the Lleida-Alguaire Airport in partnership with the Government of Catalunya was the first credible and visionary destination to adopt an event in the series.  We are now holding the event in other countries – three this year and more next year – but our Lleida event is our heart and founding partner.  The decision to base our operations here was an easy one and we love it!

How easy was it to get your business off the ground?

The reception that we enjoy here in Spain is excellent.  The Spanish are avid sportsmen and in particular are skilled athletes and enthusiastic fans in motorsport, which is our sport segment.  It is also a very new and innovative project to get off the ground so naturally there are also difficulties in terms of convincing some parties to take a role in it, but certainly the positive reaction and keen interest in Spain is very encouraging.

Photo: Air Race 1

Do you think Spain is welcoming to entrepreneurs?

I spent a year in Spain about 11 years ago and I had looked at startup opportunities then.  I found it more difficult at that time to convert people from interest to action.  But now I find that entrepreneurialism is alive and well in Spain, at least in Barcelona where most of my experience has been.  Certainly the spirit of the entrepreneur is entrenched in Spanish and Catalan culture and mind and I feel the vibe here!

Spain seems to produce great sportsmen in many different fields. Does that also stretch to air racing?

Certainly the Spanish are great aviators and there are a lot of disciplines of air sports that Spanish athletes and teams routinely excel in and often win World Championship titles.  In air racing it is a bit newer here, and it is a very highly trained and practiced skill, but our aim is to develop local talent – which I’m confident will happen soon.  There is in fact one very good Spanish formula one air race pilot who we hope to have in our series in 2016.

What do you love about living in Barcelona?

Story continues below…

My wife and I decided to settle here and we absolutely love the lifestyle and culture of Barcelona and all of Spain.  It’s easy, but so true, to say that I love the food and the weather is gorgeous.  But it’s more than that.  The Spanish history has always held an allure for me and there’s something distinctive and charming about the Spanish sense of humour and way of life in general that is very inviting and comfortable.

The Air Race 1 World Cup will take place in Lleida, Catalonia on June 28th 

Photo: Air Race 1

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man rescued from bin after climbing in find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Spain worries about tourism future
Photo: Josep Lago / AFP file picture

After basking in its best tourist summer season in 15 years, Spain now sees dark clouds on the horizon as popular destinations reach saturation point and holidaymakers are more thrifty, industry experts say.

Spain's Socialists lift veto on Rajoy to break deadlock
The Socialists have decided to lift their veto on the minority conservative government or not. Photo: Gerard Julien/ AFP

Spain's embattled Socialists on Sunday voted to lift a long-standing veto that has prevented the conservatives from forming a minority government, in what should finally end a ten-month political impasse.

Spain's 'Napflix' aims to bore viewers to sleep
Photo: Screengrab/ Napflix

A Spanish video platform called Napflix, designed to put people to sleep with dull content, was launched this week and its founders are on the lookout for more "monotony and repetition."

Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
jobs available