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8 October 2003, 04:13 pm
British Syndicate Launched
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Volvo Ocean Race
Portsmouth

Boating Partners UK Ltd is proud to announce their syndicate for 2005-2006. Their entry will be skippered by Manley HOPKINSON working with fellow syndicate team members, chairman David GANT (RSA), yachting veteran Kevin BENNETTS and Tim HOWLAND.
BPUK is entering the Volvo Ocean Race to win both on and off the water and it intends to do so by bringing together the best in the world for each facet of their campaign. The syndicate has already worked hard at forming partnerships with leading players in the yachting and sports world, including Ker Humphreys Design Partnership, Musto, North UK, Formula Spars, Marine Pics, S2 Marketing, Mission Performance and World Sport SA. The city of Portsmouth and its world famous Gunwharf Quay has also thrown its weight behind the syndicate. In compiling such an impressive team, BPUK intends to give itself the best possible opportunity of success in the world's premier ocean race.

Skipper, Manley HOPKINSON, has had a colourful career. As well as being a professional yachtsman for many years he was a former inspector in the Royal Hong Kong Marine Police, had his own boat building and servicing company, served as an officer in the Royal Navy during the Gulf War, attained a degree in marine engineering and worked as a project manager for Granada Media, solving one of its major Year 2000 projects.

Manley was the skipper of Olympic Group, one of the 12 yachts in the BT Global Challenge 2000-2001. His adventures have not just been restricted to the oceans: he was recently part of the three-man team "Initial Style Explorers" that won the inaugural race to the Magnetic North Pole, 400 miles by ski pulling a 120lb sledge, averaging 35 miles/day. Manley also regularly consults with international companies as a leadership consultant and a motivational speaker at senior management and board level.

"Boating Partners is really excited to be involved with such an incredible global sporting event as the Volvo Ocean Race. The team that we have assembled combines both world class business, marketing and yachting expertise," said Manley HOPKINSON.

He added, "The resulting benefits for our commercial partners before, during and beyond the race in our extended programme will be considerable - largely through the exploitation of a corporate communications package of promotional rights and opportunities. We believe that we bring a fresh view on all aspects of the Volvo Ocean Race, uninhibited by pre-conceived ideas with the intention to win in style."

Glenn BOURKE, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, commented, "It's great to see Manley taking on the ultimate sailing challenge by entering the Volvo Ocean Race. He epitomises all that is unique about this race through his adventurous spirit and dedication to achieving success in the most challenging environments. "

BPUK'S Chairman, David GANT, is a South African businessman, property developer and former promoter of World Cup Golf 1996. An impressive business career includes his roles as chairman of Capespan, the sole exporter of the famous Cape and Outspan fruits from South Africa, as well as chairman of Worldsport SA, South Africa's leading sports marketing company. He also served as chairman of the Democratic Party of South Africa, now the official opposition, for five years and is currently focussing all his efforts into the BPUK campaign.

BPUK's Marketing Director Tim HOWLAND has had 20 years global experience in the sports marketing sector. His experience of working with a network of international brands and companies brings a truly global perspective to the group. Previous roles have included establishing the European Office of Asia Sport Group in 1998 as its CEO in Europe (later became World Sport Group). There he managed the successful Wales Ryder Cup bid 2010 on behalf of The National Assembly for Wales and Celtic Manor.

Operations Director, Kevin BENNETTS, has spent the last 10 years operating, constructing and refitting vessels throughout the world. Kevin has many years of professional sailing behind him, both competing in international sailing events and assisting with the organisation of international sailing programmes. These include the logistics of a Whitbread Round the World Race (WRTWR), the 93-94 Dolphin (Reebok) campaign and the 1992 Il Moro America's Cup campaign. In addition, he has experience in putting together campaigns, such as WRTWR 97-98, where he led the hunt for funding. His involvement in worldwide yachting campaigns, new construction and refits and an extensive range of contacts have all kept Kevin at the forefront in the future of yacht technologies.

The BPUK team is therefore able to offer the full range of capabilities required to succeed both commercially and on the water: unrivalled ocean race experience from one Volvo Ocean Race, two Whitbreads and two America Cups - including syndicate formation, commercial and race success. Through Mission Performance, BPUK also offers extensive team development and leadership training as well as offering professional public speaking and published authors. Sports promotion, corporate communication and media relations will be handled by specialist sports PR agency S2 Marketing Ltd. Finally, BPUK's link with World Sport SA will be invaluable as the South African company actually runs and organises the Cape Town stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. Such local knowledge will be vital for the syndicate when training and preparing for the race.

BPUK's overriding goal for the Volvo Ocean Race and future ocean races is the delivery of outstanding partnership opportunities for sponsors along with total partner satisfaction. They are already in the process of approaching potential partners for their huge challenge.
Lizzie Green (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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