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Rolex Watch USA signs as Official Sponsor of NYYC's Invitational Cup

by Dana Paxton on 11 Jun 2009
New York Yacht Club, Newport, venue for the Invitational Cup Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com

Building upon a partnership established in 1994, the New York Yacht Club today announced that Rolex Watch U.S.A. has become an official sponsor of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, to be held Sept. 15-19 in Newport, R.I.

Rolex, the world’s most prestigious maker of timepieces and a long-time supporter of sailing, joins formerly announced sponsor Sperry Top-Sider, the iconic American brand best known for inventing the performance boat shoe, in presenting this unique regatta, which features world-class, Corinthian sailing among 18 teams representing premier yacht clubs from around the globe. The winning skipper of the Invitational Cup will receive a specially-engraved Rolex timepiece.

'We are naturally delighted that Rolex is continuing its outstanding support of yachting at New York Yacht Club by becoming a significant sponsor of the inaugural Invitational Cup,' said Event Chair John Mendez. 'This support enables us to present a most important international event for amateur sailors who will come from at least 18 yacht clubs representing 14 nations to compete. This will be one of the most significant events that the New York Yacht Club is involved with since the 1983 America’s Cup.'

Compliments of Rolex, video of each day’s racing will be produced by Emmy Award winner and Rolex Testimonee Gary Jobson. The daily shows will be available online during the regatta at www.jobsonsailing.com and be part of a 30-minute television program New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex to be aired on ESPN2 in the fall and produced by Jobson. A preview video is posted on the NYYC website (http://www.nyyc.org).

The agreement highlights Rolex’s continued support of NYYC events and regattas under an exclusive, five-year sponsorship through the year 2012. The long-standing partnership includes presenting sponsorship of the 155th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, scheduled for June 12-14, and the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport, taking place in even-numbered years. The Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards, the sport’s most coveted honors, are hosted annually at the NYYC’s New York clubhouse. This year’s event honored Anna Tunnicliffe and Terry Hutchinson. In 2005, the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge featured superyachts attempting to break the world’s oldest ocean-racing record while covering 3,000 nautical miles from New York to England. Robert Miller's (Hong Kong/New York, N.Y.) 140-foot (43m) Mari-Cha IV broke the 100-year-old record set by Charlie Barr on board Wilson Marshall’s 185-foot (56.4m) Atlantic, in a time of 9 days, 15 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds.

'Rolex has a long association with sailing and we are proud to continue our partnership with the New York Yacht Club,' said Rolex Watch U.S.A. President & CEO Allen Brill. 'This sailing competition shares the values that Rolex applauds: excellence, precision and team spirit.'

In commemoration of the partnership between the NYYC and Rolex, a 10' 6' Rolex pedestal clock was installed on the club grounds at Harbour Court in 1999. In 2008, specially designed Rolex wall clocks were installed in the new Sailing Center at Harbour Court, in Newport, and in the Model Room at the NYYC’s main clubhouse in Manhattan.

Racing in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup will take place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, the same waters where the New York Yacht Club hosted the America’s Cup – a trophy it first won in 1851 – from 1930-1983, or from its 14th Defense in 1930 to the 25th Defense in 1983. Prior to that, it had been in New York Harbor. The sailing is expected to be tough and demanding aboard the NYYC’s Club Swan 42 keelboats, while the on-land activities will celebrate the camaraderie so revered in the sport.

For more information on the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup please visit www.nyyc.org.

About Rolex Watch U.S.A. Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America’s Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including elite athlete preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, and offshore, one-design and women’s events. The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup joins the Rolex Yachting Portfolio that includes over 20 world-class sailing events taking place around the world including the Rolex Miami OCR, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Rolex Big Boat Series, Rolex US-IRC National Championship, Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship, Rolex Osprey Cup and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

About Sperry Top-Sider Since 1935, Sperry Top-Sider has been the leading brand of footwear for those with a Passion for the Sea. From its introduction of the world’s first siped rubber outsole for non-marking traction, to advanced technical fabrication to combat the elements, Sperry Top-Sider remains the vanguard of high-performance amphibious footwear. Sperry Top-Sider is the official footwear of US SAILING, National Safe Boating Council and sponsor of several US Sailing team athletes. Based in historic Lexington, Massachusetts, Sperry Top-Sider supports a wide-range of water-related activities through its sponsorships, including ACURA Key West Race Week, Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas and the Salt Water Sportsman seminar series. Sperry Top-Sider is a division of The Stride Rite Corporation, a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE:PSS). For more information, please visit www.sperrytopsider.com.
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