Rowing’s Olympic medal factory sold to Geelong investors

Duncan Free and Drew Ginn won a Gold medal in a Sykes Mould 23 craft at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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

A Geelong-based group has found a gold medal investment in the Breakwater home of internationally renowned boat builder Sykes.

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

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Industry sources say the property sold for around $6 million.

Breakwater rowing boat builder

The Breakwater factory of boat builder Sykes has sold to a local investment group.

Since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, 75% of Australian rowing medals have been won by competitors using Sykes craft, including Drew Ginn, who took back-to-back gold medals in the men’s coxless pairs with James Tonkin in 2004 and Duncan Free in 2008.

Darcy Jarman, Geelong West agent Tim Darcy says the investment-grade property is underpinned by the 1.2ha of industrial land in the tightly-held Breakwater estate.

Sykes’ five-year lease runs through to 2023, with a five-year option. The rental income is $394,628 a year, plus GST.

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

Breakwater boat builder rowing

The Breakwater factory of boat builder Sykes has sold to a local investment group.

Darcy says the factory was developed by late Geelong businessman Alex Popescu for Sykes, which relocated from Riversdale Rd, Newtown, in 2009.

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

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

This article from the Geelong Advertiser originally appeared as “Aussie rowing’s Olympic gold medal factory sells to Geelong investors”.