|SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA-(11-7-2005) The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Commodore Martin James tonight announced that the Club’s principal sponsor, Rolex SA, will extend its naming rights sponsorship of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and its associated regatta, the Rolex Challenge, up to and including the 2010 race.
Commodore James’ other significant announcement at the Club’s AGM was that the Club has entered into a multi-year arrangement with Channel 7 as the new host broadcaster for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
“The ongoing significant level of commitment by Rolex to our key events will assist the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia to keep the Rolex Sydney Hobart at the top of the list of blue water offshore classics, a must-do for offshore sailors worldwide,” said Commodore James at the AGM prior to handing over the helm to the incoming Commodore Geoff Lavis.
“It will also provide the CYCA with the opportunity to further expand and promote Australia’s premier ocean race to an international audience, from which we hope to generate additional overseas entries to add to our own quality fleet.
“The CYCA has enjoyed three years of close collaboration with Rolex since it first entered into a partnership with us built around our great race. Its association with us has greatly enhanced the Rolex Sydney Hobart and lead up Rolex Challenge for the competitors and the interested followers of these events.
“The CYCA is delighted to make this announcement and thanks Rolex for its ongoing involvement and support,” James added.
Rolex has been the naming rights sponsor of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race since 2002 and last year celebrated with the CYCA the 60th anniversary of the race, which attracted a fleet of 116 to the start line on Boxing Day.
Immediately following the 60th race, Rolex articulated an enthusiastic ongoing commitment to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which has now been formalised with an extension of the sponsorship arrangement.
“We are delighted to extend our commitment to the Rolex Sydney Hobart,” said Mr Richard de Leyser, general manager, Rolex Australia.
“The event is a perfect fit with the international portfolio of sailing regattas supported by Rolex. Furthermore, it has become an established highlight in the Rolex sporting calendar alongside such events as Wimbledon, the British Open and the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, with which Rolex has enjoyed long associations.
“The race is internationally recognised as an icon of adventure and its indomitable competitors command respect the world over. In a fast-changing world, the Rolex Sydney Hobart has stood the test of time; long may it test the human spirit,” Mr De Leyser added.
Commodore James’ also advised Club members present at the AGM that the Club has entered into a multi-year arrangement with Channel 7 as the new host broadcaster for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Under the agreement, Seven will screen the live broadcast of the Boxing Day start on 26 December and a review programme produced by Rolex, “Spirit of Yachting”, in January.
“The CYCA is excited about the prospect of working with a new host broadcaster to ensure the broadest and best possible coverage of this blue water classic,” Commodore James said.
“Seven will bring new ideas and a strong sense of purpose to the live broadcast of our iconic Australian sporting event, and we expect an interesting live broadcast and coverage of the event over its five or six days,” he added.
Commenting, Seven Network’s Head of Sport, Mr Saul Shtein said: “Seven has a long association with yachting – with its coverage of the America’s Cup and for many years, the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
“Last year, we moved back into yachting with our sponsorship of Nicorette and this year we’ve decided to take one step further and commit to becoming the CYCA’s broadcast partner.
“The blue water classic is one of the great sports events in Australia and we are looking forward to delivering a world-class broadcast to all Australians along with expanding our coverage of the race in Sunrise and Seven News,” Mr Shtein added.