Global Challenge Race Week kicked off on a high note, with the official announcement of the last three yacht sponsors for the Global Challenge 2004/05 - Samsung, Pindar and the Isle of Sark.
Sir Chay BLYTH, executive chairman of race organiser, Challenge Business, comments: "We're absolutely delighted to announce our last three sponsors as we move into the final phase of pre-start preparations.
"The announcement will give a huge boost to the event, particularly for the skippers and crews of the yachts concerned. The Global Challenge has, once again, attracted a unique corporate community of more than 100 organisations, ranging from huge multinational brands to local businesses. This high level of corporate involvement has been a unique feature of the event since the first race in 1992 and highlights the value organisations derive from their sponsorship".
Joining the list of major global corporations involved in the event is the Korean giant Samsung. The Samsung sponsorship has been organised through the shipbuilding division of its Samsung Heavy Industries organisation, which delivers a broad range of services to the shipbuilding industry. The yacht will be skippered by 29-yr-old Aussie, Matt Riddell.
Pindar, the British-based international print and electronic media company, already has a major involvement with yachting, through a number of initiatives including its sponsorship of Emma RICHARDS who, in 2002, became the first British woman to complete the solo-round-the-world race, Around Alone.
The Pindar yacht will be emblazoned with the company's logo and will skippered by 30-yr-old, Loz MARRIOTT.
Andrew PINDAR, chairman of Pindar Group explained why they decided to take a side-step from the professional yacht racing circuit: "The Global Challenge represents another fantastic opportunity for us to continue our involvement in sailing. This race is the ultimate challenge for a group of individuals who have to work as part of a team to overcome difficulties on a day-to-day basis in order to succeed. These issues have tangible parallels with our business and what we strive to overcome in our work which makes this race a perfect association for Pindar."
The final yacht sponsor is the Channel Island of Sark, which is using the race to raise its profile as a unique tourist destination. Having visited many times as sponsor of the Sark to Jersey Rowing Race, Sir Chay has a long-standing link with the Island. When sponsorship discussions for the last yacht fell through at the 11th hour, the branding opportunity was made available to Sark Tourism.
President of Sark Tourism, Colin Guille, comments. "We're delighted that one of the yachts is to carry the Sark name in the Global Challenge 2004/05".
"Channel Islanders have a natural affinity with the sea and we are confident that the crew will receive huge local support from all the Islands. This opportunity dovetails perfectly with our 'SeaSark 2005' festival of events, which are a celebration of the role the sea plays in Island life. Sark is only a small Island and our 'SeaSark' festival forms part of the broader SeaBritain' festivities. We are proud that 'Spirit of Sark' will now 'see the world' as the yacht raises the Island's profile throughout the globe."
The yacht will be skippered by 36-yr-old Scot, Duggie GILLESPIE.
In addition to the announcement of the last three yacht sponsors, RMC Group was announced as the fourth consortium member supporting 'Team Save the Children'.
Further details about the race, which starts on Sunday 3 October, are available on the event website at the address below.