When spectators gather to watch the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in the UKin early July, the sight of three boats emblazoned with the Akzo Nobel corporate colors and logo might come as a bit of a surprise.
But regulars at the annual rowing event will know that the company has had a presence at the famous sporting attraction for the last ten years.
Since 1991, the Amsterdam Student Rowing Club, Nereus,has had its boats sponsored by Akzo Nobel, a deal which now numbers five boats—with another one on the way. Three of these—Twaron Blue (a coxed four boat), Blue Diversity (a coxwainless four), and Blue World (an eight)—will be competing in this year’s regatta, which takes place from July 3 to 7.
The event was first held in 1839 and has been staged every year since (except during the two world wars), attaining royal patronage in 1851. The Amsterdam Student Rowing Club first took part in 1895, when they actually won one of the trophies.
This year, their trio of entries will be among the 446 crews that will be taking part, of which 83 are from overseas. The Akzo Nobel boats will be competing in The Visitors’ Challenge Cup (which has 15 entries), The Temple Challenge Cup (57 entries) and The Britannia Challenge Cup (73 entries). They will be up against crews from the UK, the USA, Norway, France, Ireland and South Africa.
“We have been training very well and hope to be successful,” said Bas Wilberts, member of the board of management of the Amsterdam Student Rowing Club.
Apart from the three boats that will be competing at Henley, Akzo Nobel also sponsors two of the Amsterdam club's other boats, Synergy and Blue Chemistry. Needless to say, all five boats are coated with Akzo Nobel paints.
(Released: June 25, 2002)