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The VELUX 5 OCEANS appoints Hill & Knowlton


The VELUX 5 OCEANS, the solo round-the world yacht race which starts October 17, 2010, has appointed Hill & Knowlton (H&K) to handle a global media relations brief utilising their network of offices around the world.

Through their network, centrally co-ordinated from London, H&K’s Sports team will assist the race communications team with the PR and activation of the race via offices in France, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, the United States, Germany and Poland. These key territories reflect both the route of the race, the nationalities of the participating skippers and a number of key markets of title sponsor VELUX Group.

H&K will engage with national, regional and local media around the world using the stories coming out of the race as it makes its way around the planet.

Tim Kelly, VELUX 5 OCEANS Race Director of Communications, said “Following a competitive tender process around the world, Hill & Knowlton presented a very creative pitch, offering a unique solution of a global network which ideally suits the international nature of the VELUX 5 OCEANS. This network offers us flexibility, synergies and a base of knowledge sharing which adds significant value to the race media team. Given their energy, enthusiasm and experience, I have no doubt that this will be a highly successful partnership.”

Andy Sutherden, Head of Sports said: “This is a great win for H&K. We were able to demonstrate the breadth and depth of our experience across our network. This combined scale and expertise will help the VELUX 5 OCEANS team deliver international fame and excitement for this global sporting event, and we are delighted to add them to our list of blue chip clients such as Gillette, Aviva, adidas and Castrol”.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS, run by Clipper Ventures PLC, starts from La Rochelle in France on October 17 and features five ocean sprints. After heading from La Rochelle to Cape Town, the race will then take in Wellington in New Zealand, Salvador in Brazil and Charleston in the US before returning back across the Atlantic to France.

About Hill & Knowlton
Hill & Knowlton ( is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with 71 offices in 43 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY,, one of the world’s largest communications services groups.

VELUX 5 OCEANS – The Ultimate Solo Challenge
The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the Ultimate Solo Challenge, the ultimate human endeavour. More than 500 people have been into space – less than 300 have sailed round the world solo. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon 30,000-nautical mile circumnavigation. The race, run every four years since 1984, has a rich heritage which has given rise to some of the world’s best sailors. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is not only the longest round the world yacht race but at nearly 30 years old is also the longest running. Always at the forefront of ocean racing innovation, the 2010/11 VELUX 5 OCEANS will see the premiere of the Eco 60 class of yachts, pushing a message of sustainability, accessibility and affordability.

VELUX creates better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product range contains a wide assortment of roof windows and skylights, as well as systems for flat roofs. In addition, VELUX offers many types of decoration and sun screening, roller shutters, installation products, products for remote control and thermal solar panels for roof installation. With manufacturing companies in ten countries and sales companies in approx. 40, VELUX is one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector and its products are sold in most parts of the world. The VELUX Group has around 10,000 employees and is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family.

About Clipper Ventures Plc
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s historic solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1970. Now, as Chairman of Clipper Ventures PLC, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Clipper Ventures, the marine sports company founded in 1995, is focused on developing and promoting major events capable of attracting significant participation, income, media coverage and associated sponsorship revenue. The company owns the rights to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the VELUX 5 OCEANS.

About La Rochelle
For 1,000 years, La Rochelle has been known as France’s “rebel city”. Democratic a long time before the rest of France, it is Protestant when the whole France is Catholic; it always innovates and disrupts commonplaces and the city is a pioneer when it comes to urban ecology. Throughout history, La Rochelle has proven its difference. It has always been turned toward the sea and has a rich and turbulent past. Boating and sailing races are deeply rooted in La Rochelle’s culture and it has played host to many of the world’s biggest sailing events including the Volvo Ocean Race, Global Challenge and Clipper Round the World Race.


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