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Sponsors Line Up To Secure Great Race’s Future

Sponsors Line Up To Secure Great Race’s Future

The immediate future of Hamilton’s annual Great Race rowing contest is secure with the news that Waikato University and other sponsors have recommitted financially to the event for the next two years.

“Waikato University came up with the original idea for the race so we feel it’s important to keep putting our money where our mouth is so that this fantastic Hamilton event continues,” says Vice-Chancellor Bryan Gould.

Waikato University, Gallagher Group and the Scottwood Group are now all lined up as sponsors for the next two years (2004 and 2005), while the Perry Foundation is currently committed for 2004.

“I’d like to express Waikato University’s deep appreciation to our partner sponsors for the way they’ve fronted up with us for the future,” says Professor Gould.

Mark Ingle, director of Great Race organizers Boathouse Events, says: “Having four of the top six funders committed to the long term allows us to focus on developing and improving the event for everyone. “At this stage we have enough committed funding to definitely put on an event for the next few years. We will now be seeking additional sponsorship to ensure the event will have the breadth of entertainment that we have had this year and so we can develop the Great Race concept further.”

Mr Ingle says the vision is to expand the current Gallagher Boathouse 8s event making it the premiere rowing event in New Zealand. “We’d like to see a Boatrace Week, with an international invitational regatta for top universities from around the world. “Ideas at this stage include having universities from the US, Britain, South Africa and Japan coming here to compete. Venues for the regatta could include the Waikato River, Lake Karapiro and other regional waterways. Up for grabs would be the title of the Boathouse 8s Invitational Championship and we’ve already had expressions of interest from overseas universities about the regatta concept.”

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