Industry Challenge 2003

Competition hots up for this year's Sunsail event

Friday February 28th 2003, Author: Chris Clode, Location: United Kingdom
Industry Sailing Challenge 2003, probably the largest corporate sailing event in the world, was announced recently by Sunsail and will be contested in Sunsail’s matched fleet of Sunfast 37s over four rounds in May with the final being held over the weekend of 19-20 July.

The 2003 Industry Sailing Challenge, in which over 100 different companies are expected to take part in the four Challenge Rounds, will be sailed in the Solent with a tough course taking competitors twice non-stop around the Isle of Wight.

Between 20 and 25 boats will be taking part in each round and depending on the number of entrants, the first three or four boats from each Challenge Round go through to the Grand Final. Crews are restricted to a maximum of 6, thus making racing hard work as the boats usually race with a crew of 8.

Individual sponsors for the Challenge Rounds include BAE SYSTEMS, Ricardo PLC, Panasonic Consumer Electronics UK and Sony Video Conferencing.

The final will consist of two inshore races followed immediately by a race once round the Isle of Wight.

Industry Sailing Challenge is a combination of skill, team building and planning as well as being a demanding challenge. Crews from both large and small companies take part with nationally known names competing against complete unknowns.

Many companies whose staff are not necessarily all sailors can augment their lack of knowledge and racing expertise with a Sunsail skipper, giving them an equal opportunity to win against other crews in the event.

Among the competitors that have taken part in previous years are British Airways, Rolls Royce, IBM, Marks & Spencer, Microsoft, Porsche, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank and the Financial Times.

This year Industry Sailing Challenge will be sailed under the flag of the Royal London Yacht Club, and a champagne brunch prize-giving will be held after each of the heats at their clubhouse in Cowes. It is here that the winner will be presented with the trophy after the final on 20th July, with each member of the winning crew receiving a Sunsail Caribbean sailing holiday.

Commenting on the Industry Sailing Challenge 2003, Chris Satchwell, General Manager, Sunsail UK and organiser of the event, said: -

“This year’s Industry Sailing Challenge is likely to be more competitive than ever. With Sunsail’s fleet of matched Sun Fast 37s and even more companies taking part, the winning boats in each heat that get through to the final will have to exercise all their skill and cunning to overcome their competitors.

“As a competition, Industry Sailing Challenge is unique. It combines strength, teamwork, skill and the building of trust and confidence in each of the crews taking part. We look forward to some excellent racing and friendly competition in what promises to be a closely fought series.”

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