Beneteau is a very big name in boats big and small. The company is the world's biggest maker of cruising sailboats, but also builds a variety of other types of vessels, including custom yachts, catamarans, and powerboats. The company, which has boatworks in its native France (Beneteau France) and in the US (Beneteau US), is a major sponsor of sailing regattas worldwide and sells its products in more than 30 countries. Beneteau has been beefing up its motorboat production to take advantage of sales growth in that market. The company traces its roots to Benjamin Beneteau, who began building trawlers for fishermen in 1884; it is headed by third-generation Bénéteau family member Annette Roux.
Beneteau has lent its name to the world famous yacht racing competition - the Beneteau Cup.
The annual Peugeot Regatta - Beneteau Cup takes place in November. Racing is held on Sydney Harbour where a fleet of luxury Beneteau yachts, including thoroughbred Firsts, cruising Beneteau Oceanis, classy Wauquiez Centurions and Pilot Houses competing for great prizes.
The event is sponsored by Beneteau France and Peugeot Automobiles Australia (Peugeot) and was presented by the French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FACCI). This prestigious two-day sailing regatta is raced from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney.
The successful partnership of Peugeot Australia and Beneteau France continued at this Regatta, welcoming Beneteau owners Australia wide, crews and members of the French and Australian business communities, amounting to over 600 guests. Once again the Regatta's Commodore was Gretel Killeen, author, celebrity and 'Big Brother' television series host. A keen sailor, Ms Killeen will crew aboard a boat and act as master of ceremonies and present prizes to the winners.
The Beneteau Cup - Peugeot Regatta is the grand finale of the Australian Beneteau calendar. It followed an Autumn and Spring Point 7 Regatta (for Beneteau Firsts), and a sun-filled Hamilton Island campaign for over 40 Beneteau cruisers and racers for the of the Beneteau calendar in Australia
The first day of the regatta is dedicated to owners and their crew. In the morning the competitors are treated to a breakfast - brunch. With a jazz band playing and the crowd in full swing, the formalities of registration are completed. Two races are held in up to 15 knots of easterly breeze with the First 36.7's, 40.7's, 47.7's racing under IRC and the Oceanis, Wauquiez Centurions and Pilot Houses competing at a more leisurely pace in either spinnaker or non-spinnaker classes.
Because this day is for serious racing, the prizes offered come from many of the premier sailing industry suppliers. These include suppliers who are responsible for the commissioning and maintenance of Beneteau boats arriving from France.
The second day - 'France Australie Day' - is a real party! This is a more relaxed racing day with only one afternoon race in non-spinnaker division. Beneteau owners share the day's racing by hosting members of the French Australian Chamber of Commerce aboard their boats.
Keeping in line with the 'party' aspect of the day, prizes are provided by Beneteau France, the co-sponsor Peugeot and various prominent French and Australian companies. A holiday for two to New Caledonia is the major prize of the two day event.
The Regatta is a colorful, fun event, complete with its competitive racing edge and social atmosphere. Prize presentations, entertainment and dining with a 'French flair' are held at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia following each day's racing.