Event-Marketing Specialist Takes Over Around Alone

In late September, sports and event marketing specialist Octagon UK and Clipper Ventures plc, the ocean racing and marine events company, announced a commercial agreement on Clipper Ventures’ around-the-world yacht race for elite, solo sailors known as "Around Alone."

The agreement awards Octagon UK exclusive commercial rights to Around Alone, which will include the securing of a title sponsor for a significant, seven-figure sum. Octagon UK will also develop a comprehensive commercial program embracing a network of supporting sponsors and suppliers.

Octagon CSI--the company's TV rights and production division--has been
appointed to manage TV production of the seven-month event and oversee
distribution to all major broadcasters. Jon Varney, Octagon UK's head of sales, comments: "We are delighted to be appointed to this high-profile event. We are confident we can achieve the kind of sponsorship deal which will amplify a tremendous race. We have just celebrated a very successful summer during which we delivered a number of key sponsorships with a similar demographic profile. These deals have placed us in an ideal position to be able to secure the best Around Alone sponsorship."

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, chairman and founder of Clipper Ventures, and the first man to sail solo around the world nonstop, comments: "Octagon’s marketing expertise extends our own core skills in race and event management. We’re anticipating a fluent working relationship and a terrific around-the-world sailing race."

Around Alone is run every four years. The next race, which will start from the western side of the Atlantic in September 2002, will mark the event’s 20th anniversary. Clipper Ventures acquired Around Alone in April this year, however, it is well known to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, he was Race Director for the first two races when it was known as "The BOC Challenge".

At 27,000 miles, Around Alone is the longest race for any individual in any sport. It will take seven months to complete and will involve four stopovers in England, Cape Town, Auckland and Salvador (Brazil). This punctuation enables competitors to make repairs and guarantees that they race to the limit of their own--and their boats’--endurance.

Entries for the 2002 event already number over 20. They include Bernard Stamm of Switzerland, the current Atlantic Crossing record holder: American Brad Van Liew who finished third in Class II in the 1998-99 Around Alone; Australian John Biddlescombe, a veteran of both the 1986-87 and 1990-91 Around Alones; and New Zealander Graham Dalton, elder brother of Whitbread Race veteran Grant.

Further information, contact Sue Warden-Owen, MHL Press & Publicity Press, e-mail suewo@dial.pipex.com