There was a time when Yacht Clubs were foreboding fortresses of the elite. Some may argue that they still are. Requirements that jackets and ties be worn and rules forbidding women to walk up the main staircase are traditions that don’t do sailing any favours. There was a time when yacht clubs would raise money from their well-off members rather than announce anything as tawdry as corporate sponsorship – but times are changing.
[cleeng_content id=”370507727″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]The Royal Thames Yacht Club has announced a corporate partnership with luxury Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet. The three year arrangement is a natural fit between the historic Club, which traces its origins back to 1775 and a fine watch manufacturer dating back to 1875.
As part of the deal, Audemars Piguet will become the official sponsor of the Royal Thames Yacht Club’s Cumberland Cup, as well as the official hosts for the Club’s Prizewinners’ Dinner.
Audemars Piguet is not new to sports or sailing sponsorship. They backed the Swiss victories in the 31st and 32nd America’s Cup and a recent sponsorship has seen them become partners of Hydroptere, a sailing vessel that now holds the fastest speed record on water. Who knows what the old guard at the Royal Thames would think of a foiling trimaran, but the new sponsorship deal is about more traditional sailing, like the Cumberland Cup.
Gary Mead, CEO of Audemars Piguet UK Ltd said:
“Audemars Piguet has chosen the Royal Thames Yacht Club because of its substantial heritage, its reputation with the yachting world and because it shares the key values of Audemars Piguet – Tradition, Excellence and Daring. The Royal Thames Yacht Club is internationally renowned for its sporting achievements and the prowess of its members. The partnership allows a unique opportunity for us to showcase our products to Royal Thames Yacht Club members, some of the world’s most demanding sailors who require strength, precision and quality.”
Established in 1775, the Cumberland Cup is the world’s oldest yachting trophy, set up 76 years ahead of the America’s Cup. This biannual international yacht-racing event takes place in May 2010 and attracts some of the best team racers in the world, sailing against each other in closely matched small keelboats. Racing in 2010 will be in the Royal Thames Yacht Club’s newly-acquired matched fleet of J80s and will take place on the superb open waters of Queen Mary Reservoir, London’s largest lake, in the west of the capital near Heathrow.[/cleeng_content]