Local investors grab rowing’s medal factory

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Local investors grab rowing’s medal factory

THE Geelong home of a boat builder that’s turned out craft that have secured 75 per cent of Aussie rowing’s Olympic medals since 1992 has found new owners in a quick sale.

A Geelong investment group secured the factory of boat builder Sykes for about $6 million, industry sources said.

The 12,140sq m Industrial 1 zoned property at 65-67 Tucker St was snapped up well ahead of its private sale deadline of  November 1.

Since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, 75 per cent of Australian rowing medals have been won by competitors using Sykes craft.

Darcy Jarman, Geelong West agent Tim Darcy said the 1.2ha land component underpinned the investment in tightly-held Breakwater.

Sykes’ five-year lease runs to 2023, with a five-year option, paying $394,628 a year.

The purpose-built 4978sq m warehouse and office complex holds Sykes’ state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which turns out advanced rowing boats for the Australian, Japanese and US markets.

Mr Darcy said late Geelong businessman Alex Popescu developed the factory for Sykes, which relocated from Newtown in 2009.

His wife, Helen Popescu, was selling the property, he said.

As well as supplying Australian Olympians, Sykes is a major supplier to the club and school rowing community.