Lord Howe Island Yacht Race sans sponsor

Frantic setting course for Lord Howe
Ash Evans
The Gosford Sailing Club is on the lookout for a naming rights sponsor for the 40th running of the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race.

The Race Committee was advised last week that Hempel Yacht paints would not be renewing their sponsorship for 2014.

The association with Hempel began in 2005 and has endured longer than any other naming sponsorship for the event.

Former GSC Commodore and Race Director for 2014 Geoff Jollow says he is disappointed that Hempel has withdrawn.

'We've enjoyed our association with Hempel during the past seven years. They are great people to work with and the brand and event were a good match. It's sad to see such a valuable sponsor move on but we also recognise that business is business.'

The Gosford Sailing Club made significant changes to the event this year and interest from competitors and the yachting community is at an all-time high. This unfortunately hasn't been enough to retain the sponsor and Hempel's David Neumann cited the limits to competitor numbers as a key factor in their decision to pull out.

The Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht race is a Category One ocean passage event that is exclusive due to mooring restrictions and accommodation limitations on the Island. Those who have raced to Lord Howe often refer to the race as the best on the Australian yachting calendar. The GSC has already received expressions of interest for the 2014 event and the objective of the Race Committee is to ensure that acceptances are of the highest competitive quality.

Many of the 2013 entrants are hoping to contest next year's race including Ed Psaltis and Co's Midnight Rambler which will be enroute to Auckland for the 2014 race to Fiji. Last year's G2LHI Line Honours Winner Southern Excellence II can expect some strong competition with at least one other VO70 expected to enter as well as an international 80 footer.

Gosford Sailing Club is a not for profit grass roots organisation that boasts racing from junior sabot level right through to a Cat One Ocean Race. The club has developed some top talent over the years, the most notable being Olympic Gold medalist, multiple world champion and Oracle AC tactician Tom Slingsby.

All GSC racing divisions including the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race are run by dedicated volunteers with a passion for their sport.

If any organisation feels that the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race might be a good fit for their marketing program for 2014 and possibly beyond, the GSC would love to hear from them.

Interest should be directed to the Promotions Officer at G2LHIPromotions@gmail.com