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Boating Partners Targetting Antarctica Cup



PORTSMOUTH, Hants. (December 8, 2003) Boating Partners, a UK based company that specialises in creating marketing opportunities in ocean racing's premier events, proudly announced today that they will be representing the United Kingdom in the inaugural Antarctica Cup International Yacht Race. The Antarctica Cup is the world's first non-stop circumnavigation of Antarctica in identical high performance 85-foot maxi-yachts racing above and below the Antarctic Convergence, a distance of some 14,600 nautical miles. It is a pure nation vs nation race, with each 'national' boat being entirely crewed by that very same nationality. This inaugural 'World Cup' of the high seas commences in Auckland, New Zealand, in February 2005 and will take place every two years.

Boating Partners has taken up one of two Country Franchise Owner Licences issued to the United Kingdom by the race organisers. For the first time in ocean racing history a professional owner's association format has been adopted from other successful professional sporting codes. The idea is to maximise the media potential of the event as well as providing event and individual boat sponsors an ongoing program of participation and exposure. Between Antarctica Cup races, the fleet of maxi-yachts will be entered into a selection of the world's most exciting yacht races. This will be under the governance of an "association of owners" dedicated to development of the event's sustainability to the benefit of all participants and the enjoyment of the global sporting public.

Manley Hopkinson, Managing Director of Boating Partners Ltd, said

"The United Kingdom has a rich history of participation in Antarctica stretching back 230 years. This event is a unique opportunity to race where our fellow countrymen over time have displayed enormous feats of courage, daring and adventure. We are really looking forward to representing our country in our sport's World Cup. The format of this race is outstanding. Once we heard what the organisers were planning, I knew that we had to secure a franchise owner licence to compete in what will be a memorable sporting occasion."

Bob Williams, Chairman, Antarctica Cup race organisation said, "It gives me the greatest pleasure to welcome Boating Partners to our growing association of Country Franchise Owners. Soon after meeting with Manley Hopkinson it became clear that we share the same vision for the future of long distance ocean racing. We are delighted that the United Kingdom will participate alongside Australia and New Zealand in the inaugural Antarctica Cup race. We now look forward to extending our family of country licence holders with representation from South Africa, the USA and central Europe. The Antarctica Cup is a pure nation versus nation event and the fervour of national competition has already commenced".


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