MEDIA RELEASE 4 February, 2020
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) in Sydney and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in Auckland take great pleasure in announcing Moonen Yachts as the naming rights sponsor of the inaugural Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race 2021.
Moonen Yachts is a Netherlands-based builder of luxury superyachts recently acquired by Australian owners, Matthew and Louise Baxter.
Welcoming the company as naming rights sponsor of the 1250 nautical mile race, Robert McClelland, chairman of the RPAYC race organising committee said: “We are thrilled to be entering this partnership with Moonen Yachts. Their commitment to producing global voyaging vessels of the highest standard adds to the prestige and is a good fit for this new yacht race.”
Commenting on their sponsorship, Matthew Baxter noted: “It’s our goal to present Moonen Yachts to the world, to a larger audience. And of course, with Sydney Harbour in our backyard and our connection to New Zealand, we’re proud to bring the brand to the South Pacific.”
The Baxters first connected to the brand when they spotted a Moonen yacht in Pittwater, where the RPAYC is also based: “We were curious because she stood out. It was love at first sight,” Louise Baxter commented.
“The brand is impeccable, no question, and the team is very talented,” added Matthew. “They’re all very passionate about what they are building.”
Matthew and Louise Baxterlive in Sydney and are no strangers to yachting. “I started sailing when I was eight,” said Matthew, who heads AM Group, a global group of manufacturing companies he founded in 1972 – the same year the couple bought Barbarian, a Sparkman & Stephens design, which they still own. The pair subsequently purchased a Finnish Swan 60.
“We sailed all over the Pacific in that boat. I circumnavigated New Zealand and I’ve sailed to Noumea with Louise five times,” he said.