Bullitt Group backs the GC32 Racing Tour

By on 05 Mar. 2015

Bullitt Group has agreed a two-year title sponsorship deal with the GC32 Racing Tour.

The Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour is a European grand prix yacht racing circuit sailed in state of the art foiling catamarans. The 32ft long GC32s were inspired by the last running of yacht racing’s pinnacle event, the America’s Cup. This was contested in AC72 catamarans which, thanks to the use of hydrofoil technology, literally ‘flew’ around the race course in San Francisco, with both hulls often more than a metre above the water.

This seemingly impossible, gravity-defying sailing requires the very cutting edge of yacht design, which has been distilled down from America’s Cup know-how and incorporated into the Dubai-built catamarans. Nonetheless, GC32s are capable of speeds well in excess of 30 knots (top recorded speed to date is 37 knots) making it one of the world’s fastest inshore one design racing yachts. Compared to the AC72, the GC32 is both smaller and the boats are identical, making it much more affordable to campaign. As a result the class is attracting top professionals – America’s Cup sailors, World Champions, Olympians and record breakers – to keen amateurs, all hungry to experience the thrill of racing these lightning fast, flying boats.

In 2015, the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour will comprise five events around Europe, visiting Austria, UK, Germany, Italy and France. Teams from the Netherlands, France and Switzerland have already signed up for the circuit that in its first year will feature at least six boats, with participation expected to expand considerably for 2016.

Bullitt Group is no stranger to sailing sponsorship. In July 2014 under its Cat Phones brand, the company announced a Class 40 sponsorship with Conrad Humphreys with the aim of engaging with sailing and outdoor sports enthusiasts via the sport. Prior to Bullitt, both Colin Batt and Dave Floyd (two of Bullitt Group’s three co-founders, with Richard Wharton) were with Motorola, which sponsored Humphreys’ yacht racing campaigns in the Vendée Globe singlehanded handed non-stop round the world race in 2004-5 and the Extreme Sailing Series over 2005-6.

Bullitt Group designs, manufactures, markets and sells consumer electronic devices in partnership with global brands. It is the worldwide licensee of Caterpillar Inc. for ‘rugged’ mobile devices and accessories, Kodak for easy-to-use smartphones and connected devices and Ministry of Sound and Ted Baker for audio products.

Dave Floyd, Co-CEO Bullitt Group explained the sponsorship: “GC32 foiling catamarans are the exciting innovation in sailing and we want to be involved in this new tour from the start to help influence the way the sport is going, exactly as we have within the mobile and audio industries for the brands we work with. The races will be the perfect platform to showcase our devices in fantastic European locations throughout the summer and of course we get to be part of the action.”

Conrad Humphreys added: “Sailing is really evolving into a new dimension with foiling and this year will see both inshore and offshore classes using foil technology to win races. I’m thrilled that Bullitt has agreed to enter into this new and exciting sailing arena. They are a high-tech company and the GC32 Class is a perfect fit to showcase their brands. I look forward to being closely involved in these incredible flying catamarans.”

GC32 Class Association President, former Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi greeted Bullitt Group: “We are delighted to welcome Bullitt Group as sponsor of the GC32 Racing Tour for its first two seasons and we look forward to building a strong relationship together. Getting involved with the GC32 Racing Tour right from the outset demonstrates what a forward thinking company Bullitt Group is. Bullitt Group is clearly an innovative company and it is positive for not only for the GC32 class, but also sailing general, that big name brands such as Caterpillar, Kodak, Ministry of Sound and Ted Baker become associated with our sport. The GC32 Racing Tour shares many similarities in its marketing ground with these brands. Our relationship with Bullitt Group will enable us to develop the GC32 Racing Tour, to improve our organisation and media coverage to everyone’s advantage.”