The Moorings, one of the world's leading charter companies with its flagship base in the British Virgin Islands, has signed on as a major sponsor of the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival presented by Nanny Cay Marina for 2004 and 2005.
The two-year deal includes the supply of two Moorings 4500 catamarans as committee boats, a number of joint marketing initiatives and the introduction of The Moorings Sailing Festival Cup for the best performing bareboat charter in the Sailing Festival, the three-day, low-pressure, pre-cursor to the BVI Spring Regatta.
"It's The Moorings' 35th anniversary next year and as the company that pioneered the fleet charter industry as we know it in the Caribbean, we felt that supporting the BVI Spring Regatta was a great way to celebrate,"
said Van PERRY, director of global marketing for The Moorings. "When the company was three years old, Pearson 35s from The Moorings' fleet competed in the first ever BVI Spring Regatta in 1972. We've all come a long way since then and the partnering of two first class organizations makes perfect sense."
The Moorings now operates 770 yachts in 26 destinations worldwide providing bareboat and crewed vacations in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and North America. The Moorings is part of the Grand Expeditions collection of eight travel companies, offering some of the World's most unique and exotic journeys.
"We're very pleased to welcome The Moorings back into the fold,"
said Bob PHILLIPS, BVI Spring Regatta chairman. "We had a very successful working relationship when the regatta was held at their base in Road Town and we're looking forward to working with them again.
"The Moorings will also bring its marketing might to bear on the BVI Spring Regatta. They're a large company with a lot of resources and a wide audience. We can only benefit from a long-term and structured relationship with them."
This deal heralds the start of an effort by regatta organizers to encourage multi-year contracts with sponsors to ensure their continuous exposure as the marketing effort for the BVI Spring Regatta becomes a year-round program.
"This isn't so much a sponsorship as a marketing partnership and the way we see things going forward,"
Phillips continued. "It's important to give sponsors and supporters value for money and a return on investment. As soon as the regatta has finished - and even before some competitors have left our shores - we have started the marketing push for the next year. So, having sponsors such as The Moorings signed on for two years means that we are able to include them as a matter of course. Much of the valuable exposure that we are now offering sponsors is in the 11 months of the year that the regatta is not held - and in destinations that are not the BVI."
The regatta has already promoted itself heavily at Block Island Race Week in USA and Cowes Week in Great Britain. It had a presence at the Newport Boat Show and will be promoting itself at the Annapolis Boat Show and Key West Race Week.
The 2004 Sailing Festival starts on Monday, 29 March with a welcome party at regatta hosts, Nanny Cay Marina. Three days of destination cruising, racing and Layday fun including the Nation's Challenge Cup, lead up to the main three-day BVI Spring Regatta starting on Friday, 2 April. The three-day regatta takes place on the south side of Tortola in the Sir Francis Drake Channel on three different courses. The expanded 7-day format has turned the traditional three days of racing action into a week-long sailing festival that takes participants throughout the British Virgin Islands.
The largest ever BVI Spring Regatta concluded this year with 138 boats competing, substantially beating the record set last year of 114. The inaugural Sailing Festival - a low-pressure, three-day warm up for the regatta - saw 38 boats racing to and from the Bitter End Yacht Club in the North Sound, Virgin Gorda.
Visitors can fly to the British Virgin Islands through San Juan, Puerto Rico with American Airlines, Caribbean Sun and Cape Air. Air 2000 has direct flights into nearby St Thomas; a scenic 40-minute ferry journey across to Tortola completes the journey. Flights are also available through Antigua and Barbados on Virgin Atlantic and British Airways and BWIA.