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VELUX re-signs as title sponsor of the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010

by Tim Kelly 19 Sep 2007 19:14 BST

Clipper Ventures PLC (UK) today announced that the VELUX Group (Denmark) has re-signed as title sponsor of the next VELUX 5 OCEANS race, due to take place in 2010-11.

VELUX began their relationship with the solo round the world yacht race in September 2005 as title sponsor of the last edition, which started and finished in Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) between October 2006 and May 2007. Considered ‘The Ultimate Solo Challenge’, the VELUX 5 OCEANS celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year and is the most established and longest single-handed yacht race in the world.

Speaking from the Grand Pavois Boat Show in La Rochelle, William Ward, CEO of Clipper Ventures PLC (listed on the AIM market in London: CLV:LN), commented, “We are delighted to announce the ongoing sponsorship by VELUX for the 5 OCEANS asset. Clipper Ventures took over this race in 2002 when it was struggling both commercially and financially. We started our partnership with VELUX in September 2005 and together we delivered a fantastic race in 2006-07 which brought this classic race back to the forefront of professional offshore yacht racing and engaged with an enormous global audience.”

“We set ourselves ambitious goals but exceeded our expectations through hard work and planning, ultimately delivering over 60 million euros of media value for our sponsor. Now with three years to prepare for the next race, and a productive and positive relationship already established between Clipper and VELUX, the potential to develop the VELUX 5 OCEANS further is huge and we have high ambitions for the future.”

Joining Ward in La Rochelle, Michael Rasmussen, CMO for VELUX Group added, “We have undertaken a thorough evaluation of the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2006-07 and saw a tangible return on investment, in terms of the internal and external objectives we set out at the start of this successful partnership. We are both proud and pleased to continue our involvement with ‘The Ultimate Solo Challenge’, an event which supports our key values of daylight and fresh air.”

“The challenge facing the skippers is similar to the challenge facing VELUX roof windows and skylights – they are both exposed to all kinds of weather. We look forward to continue the great work with Clipper Ventures to grow this classic race and create a bright future, built on the undeniable success of the last VELUX 5 OCEANS. There is a lot of work to be done but we are ready to tackle it together.”

VELUX and Clipper Ventures have not disclosed the terms of the sponsorship agreement, but the investment has significantly increased from the initial contract negotiated in 2005, based on a commercial and financial commitment to grow the race and increase the worldwide impact and media interest. The last edition of the VELUX 5 OCEANS delivered over EUR 60 million of media value worldwide and attracted huge public interest, with over 600,000 page returns from Google search and 25,000 views of race video clips on YouTube.

A race consultation period of three months will now commence to counsel the opinions of skippers, sponsors, host ports and the media. The objective is to review the last race and provide recommendations that will meet the needs and expectations of future partners.

The next edition of the race expects to once again incorporate stopovers in Australasia and the East Coast of the United States. VELUX and Clipper Ventures plan to announce a number of initiatives, strategies, partners and race format details at the upcoming boat shows in Paris and London at the start of December.

Clipper Ventures are also pleased to announce that David Adams will continue as Race Director for the 2010 edition. Adams, from Australia, was Race Director for the last race and has also won the race as a skipper in 1994, and will lead the advisory board and start work on recruiting a fleet of world class sailors and managing the format development.

Speaking from La Rochelle, David Adams, concluded, “I am pleased to continue the role as Race Director for the VELUX 5 OCEANS. VELUX are a fantastic sponsor, bringing energy and creativity to the event, and we now have three years to build on the success of the last race and create another attractive event for the skippers to enter and the media to continue following. My team have already begun working with skippers preparing their campaigns and we’re well advanced with the Tendering process for Host Ports”

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures PLC, was also in La Rochelle for the first pit stop of the Clipper Round the World Race, which started in Liverpool on September 16. The legendary solo sailor, who courageously completed the VELUX 5 OCEANS course at the age of 67, added, “This race has always been and amazing event and we have found such a dedicated new partner with VELUX, who have the ambition and vision to position this race as one of the top events in the offshore racing calendar. The relationship is extremely collaborative and friendly, and we are excited about what we can do with this race in the next three years.”

“We will work closely with VELUX to deliver something special. The VELUX 5 OCEANS has a special history and there is a unique bond that exists between the sailors who have completed this gruelling challenge.”

Knox-Johnston was joined by some of the heroes of previous races, including Isabelle Autissier (FRA) and Yves Dupasquier (FRA). The VELUX 5 OCEANS has delivered stories of drama and courage for over 25 years and the veterans of the race were on hand to share their amazing experiences. The race format of the VELUX 5 OCEANS means that all the skippers, and their families, form a close bond with each other as they travel around the world.

VELUX and Clipper Ventures representatives will present their vision for the race in 2010 at a press conference at the Grand Pavois de La Rochelle this afternoon at 4:30 pm local time. The VELUX 5 OCEANS race team hopes to be present at the London Boat Show in January to release further information on the format and partners for the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11.

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