June 26 In the Press

North Coast brothers pitch to Richard Branson but miss out on top prize

By Eleanor McGillie

TWO brothers from the North Coast have narrowly missed out on winning #Voom Pitch To Rich today (FRIDAY) in London which would have seen The Skunkworks Surfboard Company secure a £50,000 cash injection from billionaire Richard Branson.

Ricky Martin took to the stage to face Richard Branson and the panel of prestigious judges to pitch for The Skunkworks Surfboard Company based in Coleraine.

The company, which is manufacturing the ‘next generation’ surfboards, aims to make the most robust surfboards in the world, create jobs in Northern Ireland and become a globally recognised brand.

But the dream of winning the ‘New Things’ category crashed when Fourex UK secured the top prize in the category.

Ricky, 35, who was in London with his brother Chris, 31, said participating in Pitch To Rich was an amazing experience.

Ricky, who owns Alive Surf School in Portrush, said: “It was a bit nerve wreaking pitching in front of these amazing entrepreneurs but everyone there was in it to win it so everyone put on a great performance. It was pretty cool though that Richard Branson’s PA came up to us at the end and asked us to contact her when the boards are ready because they will have to order one for Richard Branson.

“The Skunkworks Surfboard Company is creating a product which is 100 per cent recyclable for an industry which is expected to be worth $13.2billion by 2017. The prospects are huge and we are very excited about the future.

“Taking part in this competition has been an immense experience. The support we got from people in Northern Ireland and beyond has been phenomenal. In the pitch I mentioned the support we have received from the public, from business people and from our fellow surfers across the globe. We cannot thank people enough for getting us to London.

“This has been an amazing experience and we have learned a lot.”

The Skunkworks Surfboard Company beat off 900 businesses and secured 5,000 public votes to get to the finals.

The two brothers have previously received support from Invest NI and have been to California on a fact finding trip to speak to industry experts. In the last 18 months they secured £100,000 worth of grants, have set up a factory, created jobs for surfboard shapers, Thomas Taylor and Steve Murray and have requests for 200 boards in their order book.

ENDS:

Notes To Editor:

  • The Skunkworks Surfboard Company was established in October 2013 by two brothers – Ricky and Chris Martin to design and manufacture the ‘next generation’ surfboards. The Skunkworks Surfboard company is based in Coleraine. The company strives to make the most robust, high performance surfboards and stand up paddle boards in the world.
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | Brand Journalism UK | Sport PR | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | PR Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK

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