Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Team G3: Vodafone sponsors the fastest sailing boat in the southern hemisphere!

Rendering of how the G3 boat will look when the Vodafone sponsorship branding is complete. Supplied image.

by Zoe Hawkins

Vodafone has taken naming sponsorship of the ORMA trimaran previously Team G3, to launch ‘TeamVodafone Sailing’ with the boat’s major rebranding about to start.

Vodafone's Director of Sales Grant Hopkins says they wanted the ability to showcase their extensive marine coverage and felt that the trimaran demonstrated both their commitment to reliable marine network performance and the delivery of fast 3G data speeds to boaties throughout NZ.

"We have invested heavily in our Extended 3G network to cover 97% of where kiwis live, work and play - and a whole lot of kiwis play on the water. Whether you want to send a PXT of your award-winning snapper to a mate, keep the emails at bay or in the case of TeamVodafone check the weather to be in the best position for the wind, this partnership is about showing boaties you can still use all of our great data services at fast speeds on the water."

Capable of a top speed in excess of 40 knots, the Open 60 multihull takes performance to a new league all together, and despite being tried and tested in Europe for many years, for both New Zealand and Australia it’s a first proper look at the world of high intensity giant trimaran sailing.

Moored just 100 metres from the Vodafone HQ at the Viaduct in Auckland harbour, TeamVodafone is the fastest mobile billboard in town. As well as racing in Auckland, TeamVodafone intends to compete in numerous regattas and races in Oceania – Coastal Classic, Sydney- Hobart, Auckland – Fiji to name a few...and will challenge a few records getting there and back. Watch out for it overtaking the Waiheke ferry in the Auckland harbour.

In August next year TeamVodafone will also enter the ‘Round Australia Race’ – the last time it was raced it was won was by kiwi’s Sir Peter Blake and Mike Quilter in Steinlager 1, back in 1988.

TeamVodafone Sailing is owned and skippered by Simon Hull with an experienced professional crew. Simon has owned and campaigned a succession of race boats, the most recent the Transpac 52, V5 - recent wins include the Coastal Classic yacht race in 2007 and 2008, and the Bay of Islands Race Week in 2009.

Simon commented “It is fantastic to have a brand as strong as Vodafone to back the team. Bringing one of the fastest sailing boats on the planet all the way down here from France has been a dream of mine for some time. It takes sailing here to a new level, and Vodafone’ support enables us to go for the records that we know she is capable of”.

"Of course this partnership is not just about coverage, let’s face it this boat is fast, it’s innovative and it will push the boundaries to break records - you can't get more Vodafone than that" says Hopkins.