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10 March 2009, 03:13 pm
Andalucía To Host The Sixth And Final Round Of The 2009 iShares Cup
An aerial view of the Extreme 40s racing at Kiel
An aerial view of the Extreme 40s racing at Kiel during last year's iShares Cup

iShares Cup 2009
Almería, Andalucía, Spain

The award-winning iShares Cup continues to grow and the organizer OC Events is delighted to confirm a sixth and final event to the 2009 iShares Cup Sailing Series.
The southern Spanish city of Almería in the region of Andalucia will play host to the final round of the 2009 Extreme 40 Sailing Series between 10-12 October.

The iShares Cup Almería official announcement took place in the Port of Almería on Friday 6 March where OC Events CEO Mark TURNER, together with Luciano ALONSO, Minister of Tourism, Trade and Sports of the Andalusian government, spoke in front of an audience of 200 people, representing media and VIP guests. According to Luciano ALONSO, this event is "very attractive" since it will be the first time an iShares Cup Extreme 40 event will take place in the Andalucia region, but also in Spain, and "will position Almeria as an international reference on the world map of sailing".

ISAF Special Event logoThe iShares Cup finale will take place right in the heart of the port in Almería, the most Eastern city in Andalucía, and will be a key focus in the sporting calendar for the Government of Andalucía who have agreed a five-year deal with OC Events to host a round of the iShares Cup. This is part of the Andalucian government's long-term strategy to host major sporting events in their region. Large crowds are expected to descend on the port of Almeria as 12 October is a national holiday in Spain. OC Events is working closely with the City to finalise details not only for the spectacular racing, but also creating an inclusive public entertainment package for the general public.

The iShares Cup races are all between 12 and 20 minutes long on tight race courses that are designed to give the best possible viewing opportunities to the general public as well as providing challenging and testing conditions for the top skippers and crews taking part.

"This is a really great development for the Series," said Gilles CHIORRI, OC Events Director. "The iShares Cup provides something for everyone. World-class competitive racing for the top sailors, an excellent VIP hospitality package for sponsors and their guests, as well as fantastic public entertainment, both on and off the water. This will be the first time we have organized an iShares Cup event in Spain, so we are delighted to have managed to add yet another country to this growing circuit," he concluded.

Rick ANDREWS, Head of iShares Marketing, Europe commented, "It's fantastic to see the iShares Cup expanding so quickly and great news for the event. In 2007 we had four stops on the circuit, increasing to five in 2008 and with today's announcement of Andalucia as the venue for the final event of the season, 2009 will see this unique sailing event showcased in six European markets".

The 2009 Series will open in Venice, Italy (another new location for 2009), before heading to France, then to Great Britain, before returning to Kiel in North Germany where crowds of over 80,000 watched the action last year, before the penultimate event in the Netherlands.

The iShares Cup will roll into Almería on Monday 5 October when the teams will start to construct their boats and the VIP and media facilities are built on the banks of the waterway. The boats are highly portable, packed into a 40 foot container, and can be transported anywhere in the world and built in less than a day.

The iShares Cup has been recognized as delivering a very high return on investment when it won the European Sponsorship Award's Best Business to Business Sponsorship and the judges commented that the iShares Cup was, "a sponsorship that had everything - clear objectives, well-managed execution, good attendance by the target audience, and excellent evaluation. This was truly international, and was an excellent choice of event in that it clearly achieved everything that iShares had aimed for. and more." It has also been shortlisted in the Sports Industry Association's Best Sponsorship of a Sports Event or Competition.

The iShares Cup has been watched around the World thanks to a six-part TV series produced by host broadcasters Sunset&Vine|APP. The programming is distributed internationally to over 220 million homes as well as in-flight with ten airlines and featured in the world's most watched sports magazine show, Gillette World of Sport five times in 2008.

In addition, independent agency Sports Marketing Surveys, evaluated the media coverage for last year's iShares Cup in excess of 5 million euros in the five European territories (Great Britain, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Germany) with 9 hours and 30 minutes of broadcast news distribution alone.

The 2009 iShares Cup will visit:

Round 1 - Venice, Italy, 15-17 May
Round 2 - France, 3-5 July
Round 3 - Great Britain, 1-3 August
Round 4 - Kiel, Germany, 28-30 August
Round 5 - The Netherlands, 25-27 September
Round 6 - Almería, Andalucía, Spain, 10-12 October

The remaining venues in France, Great Britain and The Netherlands will be announced in the coming weeks. Teams for 2009 will be confirmed following their official entry as per the Notice of Race.

Find out more at www.isharescup.com.
Emily Caroe
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