Barclays Bank, one of the world's biggest, announces their Challenge sponsorship

Barclays today (February 10th 2004) officially announced that it is to be a yacht sponsor for the upcoming Global Challenge round-the-world yacht race. The Barclays yacht will set sail in October 2004 along with 12 other yachts in what has been dubbed the “world’s toughest yacht race.” Sir Chay Blyth Executive Chairman of Challenge Business said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have Barclays as a sponsor of the Global Challenge. This is a major plus for the event as a whole. To have the support of one of the world’s top ten banks, with one of the most powerful brands, bodes well in the lead-up to the Global Challenge 2004/05.” Roger Davis, chief executive of UK Banking for Barclays said: “The ethos of the Challenge Race, about allowing ordinary people to test themselves in exceptional circumstances, really appealed to us when deciding to take on the sponsorship. “Building on this we would very much like to get our own employees involved as much as possible and for the sponsorship to be used as a focus for the new UK Banking division of Barclays which was established at the end of 2003. “Together with our other major sports sponsorship, the Barclays Premiership, it will also allow us to promote the Barclays brand to our existing customers and people new to Barclays both in the UK and in the ports of call around the world.” The Global Challenge 2004/5 will feature 12 teams for the 10-month event, which sails 30,000 miles the ‘wrong way’ around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. Crewed by non-professionals, the fleet of identical boats ensures that only seamanship, skill and determination make the difference between winning and losing. The race, the fourth since its inauguration in 1992, will take in the ports of Buenos Aires, Wellington, Sydney, Cape Town, Boston, a yet to be confirmed Northern European port and finally Portsmouth where it starts in October 2004. The Barclays boat is currently in a multi-million pound refit project. Watch this space for further details on Global Challenge sponsorship next week.