Shell Development (Australia) Pty. Ltd., have signed as event sponsors for the Warren Jones Youth Regatta, to be sailed 31 January to 5 February 2004.
The Warren Jones Youth Regatta 2004 is an international match racing event, to be hosted, on the Swan River, by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, and will be contested by twelve crews of under 25 year old sailors.
The regatta, in its second year, was created by a group of prominent Perth business men, in memory of Warren Jones, who as well as being a leading light in the local business community, was the driving force behind Australia II's historic America's Cup victory in 1983.
Mr David CHRISTIE of Shell Development Australia said, "We are pleased to be able to provide support as the major sponsor of this event for young sailors from around this nation and the world. Our association with the waterways, rivers and oceans along our coast is notable as far back as the turn of the last century, when Shell's first cargo of bulk kerosene arrived, and today as a patron sponsor of Australia II and the W.A. Maritime Museum.
"The regatta is a great opportunity for competitors to enhance their racing skills, and will be a step in the right direction for these young sailors to perhaps one day be a part of a magical moment in sporting history, just like the crew of Australia II.
"To the teams that will be competing here in Perth, welcome, and we look forward to cheering them on during the regatta."
The event is being organised by former Australia II headsail trimmer Skip LISSIMAN, who is now the chief executive of the Western Australia Yachting Foundation, whose fleet of Foundation 36 yachts will be used for the event.
He said, "we want to create a stepping stone for young America's Cup aspirants, and we are very pleased, that as a result of last year's event East Fremantle Yacht Club, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and Townsville Sailing Club, have all set up youth match racing programmes."
John BERTRAND, skipper of Australia II is also amongst those supporting the event, along with another crew member John LONGLEY.
The Perth business community have ensured the event has a sound financial base, and have set up an incorporated trust that owns the event, which will be hosted in alternate years by Royal Freshwater Bay and Royal Perth Yacht Clubs.
In 2003 the regatta was a purely national event, but in 2004 three international crews will take part, and it is the aim of the organisers that the Warren Jones Regatta will grow to be a major event on the young match racing circuit.