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Velux 5 Oceans continues preparations to be major event

by Anna Wardley 10 Oct 2007 16:04 BST

A bright future for the Velux 5 Oceans in 2010/11

Following the recent announcement in September of VELUX’s continued sponsorship of the 5 Oceans yacht race, today (October 10) saw IMOCA, the international governing body of the Open 60 Class, announce that the next edition of the VELUX 5 OCEANS in 2010 would not form part of the provisional championship calendar of events. IMOCA cited their desire to offer a simple concept and a balanced calendar offering a round the world race every two years, focusing on the Vendee Globe in 2008 and the Barcelona World Race, which will be moved to 2010.

Responding to the announcement by IMOCA, David Adams, Race Director of the VELUX 5 OCEANS commented, “We are disappointed not to be included on IMOCA’s calendar at this stage. The IMOCA World Championship is an important part of a Class which is seeking to organise itself more effectively. The reason the VELUX 5 OCEANS wants to be on the IMOCA calendar is so skippers win points toward that championship. With so many new boats being built for the next Vendee Globe, this is an exciting time for the Open 60 Class. There are more boats for skippers to access for an increased number of quality events.”

Clipper Ventures Plc will announce the format for the 2010/11 event at the London Boat Show in January, outlining details on the course and the benefits offered to skippers to ensure their costs are kept as low as possible, as well as a range of new ideas which will further internationalise the interest in this classic event. The VELUX 5 OCEANS race remains open to every IMOCA member and indeed anyone with the ambition, technical skills, stamina and personal character required to complete The Ultimate Solo Challenge with a safe and well funded campaign. The Race Management Team equally hopes to continue discussions with IMOCA over the coming months to explore any possible solutions to work together.

David Adams continued, “The Race Management Team supports IMOCA's move to better organise the class. We struggle however with the idea that there is only room across four years for two round the world races, and that both should be non stop. We also believe that the Barcelona and VELUX 5 OCEANS races are fundamentally different events and appeal to different skippers and their sponsors.”

“Following the enormous, and unprecedented, media success of the last VELUX 5 OCEANS, we were delighted to announce the re-signing of VELUX as our title sponsor for the 2010/11 event. In the words of Michael Rasmussen, the Chief Marketing Officer of VELUX, this deal is “the biggest sponsorship in sailing outside of the America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race”. The biggest sponsorship deal in the history of the Open 60 Class should be widely celebrated within our sport, especially as we welcome back the continued support of the only truly global sponsor of a race event. The VELUX 5 OCEANS has a long and prestigious history, run every four years since 1982. Some of the world’s best solo ocean racers have emerged from this race.”

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures Plc, organisers of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, added, “VELUX have returned because the stories the event created generated over 60 million euros worth of media exposure, not just in Europe, but across the planet. The stopovers provided an outstanding networking opportunity for their clients and engaged the skippers with people and cultures around the world. The inspirational values of the event are in step with their own. In short, the VELUX 5 OCEANS is a powerful marketing platform for brands. Beyond the numbers, it also creates an atmosphere unlike any other solo event, as the skippers, their families and everyone involved with the race travels around the world on an incredible journey.”

Sir Robin concluded, “This new agreement provides the VELUX 5 OCEANS team, for the first time in many years, the financial resources to keep this race at the forefront of media interest and deliver an outstanding event for competitors and their sponsors. With the management team appointed early, we intend making the 2010/11 event the most successful in its 25-year history. As a reminder, this race started as The BOC Challenge in 1982. It has created famous names and, in essence, it gave birth to short-handed ocean racing and the Open 60 class.”

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