Simon Payne to Head Up Zhik Sailing Gear UK Expansion.

Following the recent news that Australian based sailing apparel brand Zhik, would sponsor the Laser SB3 World Championship, the company has announced that two time Moth World Champion, Simon Payne will head up UK operations for the brand.

Payne, who is one of Zhik’s sponsored sailors, will represent and market their sailing gear to British customers. Zhik Clothing is best known for it’s dinghy sailing gear with strong support of  Olympic classes, but more recently the company has expanded into the territory of clothing for bigger boats. Defending Laser SB3 World Champion Jerry Hill, with his crew Grant Rollerson and Matt Alverado will all wear the Zhik ISOTAK range during the Worlds to be held in Torquay in May.

The sailing apparrel market is in a state of flux at the moment. Traditional players have introduced brand extensions that take focus away from their roots. Henri Lloyd’s web homepage features a picture of a Formula 1 car and Musto now styles itself as an ‘Outdoor clothing’ brand, with sailing sitting alongside ranges for equestrian and shooting. These well known brands are facing innovative marketing campaigns from pure-play sailing brands like Sail Racing, MarinePool, and Magic Marine as well as increased activity from brands like Gill and Slam.

Simon Payne commented,

“We are delighted to have entered into this arrangement with Zhik. We believe the Zhik dinghy range is the best in the world and the new Isotak™ range is an exciting entry into the sports boat and keelboat market. With strong success already abroad, one of our roles is to establish this range within UK yachting. We will do this by working alongside the current Zhik sales organization to deliver great retailer support and good communication with customers”.

Brian Conolly, CEO of Zhik commented.

“Zhik is one of the fastest growing sailing brands in the world. With new products in the pipeline the time has come to ramp up our presence in the UK and I’m delighted to have engaged Simon and his company to head up our operation. Our goal is to deliver the Zhik experience to cruising and racing sailors alike and I’m confident that we now have the structure in place to support and grow our retailer base”

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