Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race, often dubbed ‘the Everest of sailing’ is a nine-month test of endurance and sailing prowess. In the 2011/12 race, competitors will cover 39,000 nautical miles of the world’s most treacherous seas.

The race began in Alicante, Spain at the start of November, and finishes in Galway, Ireland, going via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient.

The Auckland stopover, the first for ten years, takes place from 8-18 March, 2012.

For a town known as the ‘City of Sails’, the return of the Volvo Ocean Race is a big deal. The Auckland Viaduct, site of New Zealand’s two America’s Cup defenses, will become a vibrant race village for the stopover. It will have a pop-up wine bar and entertainment hub, with a stage for live music, and large viewing screens.

There will be plenty of opportunities for spectators to see the racing fleet, made up of the world’s most advanced monohulls, in action. Each stopover features an In-Port Race, with points counting towards the Volvo Ocean Race overall standings, and a Pro-Am Race.

The new Viaduct Events Centre will act as Race HQ, housing Volvo Race management, the media centre, and the exclusive Ocean Race Club for VIP hospitality. The centre’s ground floor will contain the NZ Marine Export Showcase, featuring the best of the New Zealand export marine industry and its cutting-edge products and services.

The racing fleet will be moored in front of the Viaduct Events Centre in an area called Pit Lane. It will allow visitors close enough to watch the crews prepare the boats for the fun of the Pro-Am Race, and then focus on the serious stuff with the In-Port Race and the start of Leg 5 to Itajai, Brazil.

Auckland’s waterfront was transformed in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup, and the new Wynyard Quarter area will come into its own during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. Gateway Plaza, with its steps leading down to the water’s edge, will provide the western entrance to the race village and connect it to Wynyard Quarter’s many cafes and restaurants.

With Emirates Team New Zealand’s entry, Camper, currently in second place, Aucklanders are sure to come out in force to give the racers a huge reception. The In-Port and Pro-Am events will no doubt be a thrilling sight for spectators, providing another weekend of sailing glamour in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.

If you’d like us to charter a boat to watch the racing from the water, or book you a waterside table amongst the action, we’d be delighted to help you enjoy this fabulous event. We can also organise anything else for you while you’re in Auckland - from accommodation, housekeeping services and provisioning, to babysitting, laundry, and Auckland activities.

For assistance with your Auckland stopover experience email useourtime@conciergenz.co.nz
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