Hopes are running high for the long term future of ING Real Estate/ Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race as fund raisers seek extra cash for the Australian yacht to complete the course.
At the announcement of the new sponsorship arrangements, which sees the boat officially named ING Real Estate Brunel, Jan Arie van Barneveld, CEO Brunel International said he was confident of securing more funds.
“I have been with the team all week and have seen for myself how hard they work and what a special atmosphere they have created, so I am convinced they will be successful. And when it is successful, I am confident we will get the support to carry on.”
Brunel International, a firm of service providers based in Netherlands, did not have the funds at present to sponsor the Australian boat all around the Volvo Ocean Race course, Mr van Barneveld continued, but they were actively seeking sponsorship partners and were hopeful of making progress.
At the moment, ING Real Estate Brunel is funded for the In Port racing in Cape Town and the second leg of the race from South Africa to Melbourne, but beyond that the funds for Grant Wharington’s unique campaign are set to run out.
For the In Port racing on Boxing Day, ING Real Estate Brunel will be helmed by Jeff Scott in the absence of Grant Wharington who is competing in the Sydney to Hobart race.
South African America’s Cup specialist Ian Ainsley has been signed up to offer local advice on the course and weather while Mark Fullerton, who was also supposed to be competing in the Sydney Hobart Race was dispatched back to Cape Town at the last minute to make sure the Australian crew, skippered by Ian ‘Barney’ Walker, had sufficient numbers for the race.