Panasonic Canada Inc.

Panasonic Canada Inc.

July 31, 2008 18:22 ET

Panasonic Canada Inc. Announces Sponsorship of the "Spirit of Canada" Yacht in the Vendee Globe Race

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 31, 2008) -

Attention: Sports Editors

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

Panasonic Canada Inc. announced today that it will sponsor Derek Hatfield and the "Spirit of Canada" Open 60 yacht as he attempts to win the Vendee Globe single-handed around the world race. Hatfield is the only Canadian entry in the world's harshest race which will begin November 9th, 2008.

Not only has Panasonic put forward a financial commitment to "Spirit of Canada", the company has also donated three ultra-ruggedized CF-30 Toughbook notebooks which will serve as Hatfield's main communications hub on the boat.

"I am honoured to be supported by Panasonic and Toughbook. The Panasonic Toughbook is the computer of choice for the teams competing in the Vendee Globe 2008," said Derek Hatfield, Skipper, Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges. "As we race through some of the toughest conditions and remotest parts of the world, we will rely heavily on the Toughbook computer for navigation, communications, tactics and weather information and it is critical to the performance of the boat."

All communications and navigation will be conducted from a CF-30 Toughbook and an iridium satellite phone. Hatfield will utilize the ruggedized CF-30 Toughbook notebooks for numerous daily operations including: receiving and analyzing weather conditions for performance and navigation; monitoring the boat's equipment to track power, water and fuel consumption; and communicating daily with Vendee Globe race officials and his shore team who will be posting updates to www.spiritofcanada.net.

"Panasonic Toughbooks are rigorously tested to endure challenging conditions and are used in numerous industries by people needing a ruggedized computer," said Susan Black, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Communications and Computer Systems Division, Panasonic Canada Inc. "Derek Hatfield will certainly put the notebooks to work in some adverse conditions and we know that Toughbook technology will perform exceptionally."

The CF-30 Toughbook notebook is encased in full magnesium alloy (20x stronger than ABS plastic) protecting the display and components from vibration and shock. The keyboard, touchpad and ports are fully-sealed with a dust- and moisture-resistant design. A polymer gel-mounted HDD protects the notebook against vibration, shocks and drops.

The CF-30 also features an Intel® Core™ Duo Processor L7500, 1.66GHz, an 80 GB hard disk drive, 1GB DDR2-SDRAM (expandable to 4GB), Integrated Bluetooth®, a shock-mounted removable hard drive in a stainless steel case and weighs 3.8 kg (including battery and carrying handle). The notebook comes with three-year limited international warranty for parts and labour.

Panasonic Canada has been the leading name in ruggedized notebooks in Canada for more than 10 years. Panasonic Canada Inc. offers a full line of military standard (MIL-SPEC) approved notebooks including the CF-19 and CF-30. There are currently more than 50,000 Toughbook notebook users in Canada. All Toughbook notebook models are designed, engineered and manufactured in Panasonic-owned factories. The company has a large investment in people, factories, robotics, environmental and wireless testing chambers, quality-control processes, and a broad range of end-to-end service offerings to ensure that the company will continue to be the leader in the ruggedized computer market.

Panasonic Canada Inc. is a principal Canadian subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (MEI) of Japan, one of the world's largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. For more information, visit Panasonic's home page at www.panasonic.ca.

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