Sunday, 19 June 2011

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs : The Year of the Rabbit

Kenwood-Rabbitohs. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

The 2011-2012 Season will see a twin attack on 18ft Skiff Racing by the famous South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby League club in association with the De’Longhi Australia and Kenwood companies.

De’Longhi Australia has been South Sydney’s major ‘away game’ jersey sponsor for the past four seasons and has now added its Kenwood brand to the Souths sponsorship with Kenwood ‘”create more” signing up in 2011 as the major sponsor for training gear and shorts.

Kenwood, owned by De’Longhi Spa, Italy, is best known for the iconic Kenwood Chef mixer which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010.

Through sport, family, food and nutritional values Kenwood aims to reach the community through its sponsorship of the Rabbitohs and ‘Souths Cares’ so it is a combined effort of Kenwood and Souths to put another 18ft Skiff on the beautiful Sydney Harbour.

Russell Crowe & Oprah in Rabbitoh caps. Image copyright

The association between Rugby League football and the Australian 18 Footers League is steeped in history as the founded of the Rugby League football code in Australia was Mr. James j. Giltinan, whose name symbolizes the ultimate challenge in 18 Footer racing the J.J. Giltinan Trophy Championship.

Mr. Giltinan was very instrumental in the early years of the Australian 18 Footers League, which is the world’s premier 18 Footer organization.

As first Secretary of the newly formed sailing league in the 1930s, he was the driving force behind the push to initiate a world championship for the previously Australia-only 18 Footers.

The De’Longhi company has been a wonderful supporter of 18 Footer Racing for the past six seasons at the Australian 18 Footers League.

Paolo Albertoni, CEO, and Tom Mitchell, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, took this connection one step further when negotiating for the Major Sponsorship of training and shorts contract with Rabbitohs officials for 2011.

The agreement to include the sponsorship of Kenwood-Rabbitohs skiff sealed the deal.

De'Longhi-Rabbitohs. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

The Kenwood-Rabbitohs skiff hit the water late last season with young Australian Match Racing champion Evan Walker at the helm.

Evan Walker will skipper the boat from the beginning of the 2011-2012 Season, while De’Longhi-Rabbitohs skiff will again be in the hands of experienced 18ft Skiff skipper Simon Nearn.

The famous ‘rabbit’ logo has a high profile, not only through its wide supporter base but also through the efforts of its actor owner Russell Crowe.

That famous ‘rabbit’ logo is sure to be prominent on Sydney Harbour during the 2011-2012 Season.

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs