Insurer CGU is hoping for the most out of its sponsorship of a yacht in the BT Global Challenge by christening the 72 foot boat – CGU.
Heather Murray, wife of the boat's skipper Neil Murray, wetted the boat with a bottle of champagne in a ceremony on the River Thames opposite the Millennium Dome.
Lt Col David Cooper and race founder Sir Chay Blyth blessed the boat.
Six CGU staff members will take part in the race, which starts in Southampton on September 10.
The race will stop in Boston, Buenos Aires, Wellington, Sydney, Cape Town and La Rochelle before finishing back in Southampton in June 2001.
All money raised from the event will be given to Save the Children, the official charity of BT Global Challenge 2000-2001.