Gill has signed up as the official clothing sponsor for Nick Bubb's 2005 Mini Transat campaign

Gill, the Nottingham-based performance clothing company, has signed up as the official clothing sponsor for Nick Bubb’s 2005 Mini Transat campaign. Gill is backing Bubb in the lead up to and including the 2005 race that starts next September.

The 25 year-old British sailor is being kitted out from top to toe in Gill gear and, in particular, Nick will wear the full OC Racer range including Gill’s new OC Racer Smock that is being launched into the public arena at the London Boat Show in January 05.

In the meantime Nick is working with Gill and its key retailers during the Southampton Boat Show and show visitors can see his new Mini Volitio that is being exhibited on the Wessex Resins & Adhesives stand (F8).

Gill’s Sales Manager, Terry Cooke commented: “It’s great to be working with Nick. He has proved himself to be a truly competent sailor and he’s clearly demonstrated his ability to put together a really professional campaign.”

Nick is also looking forward to the new relationship, adding: “It’s fantastic to have Gill supporting me for the Mini Transat. I’m sure that the nature of the boats and the racing will allow me to help further their extensive development programme, as well as benefit from all their experience at the cutting edge of the sport.”

Nick states that over recent years the Mini Transat class has evolved into a breeding ground for professional ocean racers. The 6.5m turbo charged rockets, with only a few design restrictions such as maximum length, beam, draft and mast height, have evolved into an altogether wilder version of the Open 60s, such as Mike Golding’s ‘Ecover’ and Ellen MacArthur’s ‘Kingfisher’, that are raced in the solo round the world events. The majority of Open 60 skippers come through the Mini fleet.

The Mini Transat class is not just about the single-handed transatlantic race. In the first season of the two-year cycle the events are mainly double-handed races, such as the Mini Fastnet, Mini Barcelona, Select 650 and Open Demi-Cle. The Transat season incorporates a lot more single-handed events, virtually all of which, as with the previous season, start and finish in France and take the sailors around Western Europe. A 1,000 mile solo qualifier must also be completed in order to get an entry in the Transat, along with 1,000 miles of Mini racing. To date no British sailor has won this truly international event. Nick and GBR 500 have just completed all of the qualifying and after a small refit this winter will be back in the water in March.