Britomart, Auckland’s leading commercial, retail and entertainment development, has joined with Emirates Team New Zealand for the Extreme Sailing Series.
The Extreme Sailing Series is a hotly contested, quick-fire regatta series, held close inshore at venues around the world. The 2014 series has eight regattas – the first held last month at Singapore and the second due to start this week at Muscat, Oman.
Britomart is a 6.5 hectare precinct of historic buildings, new developments and public spaces between Auckland’s waterfront and the CBD. The area has a rich history, as Auckland’s first mercantile centre. It is also home to one of the largest concentrations of heritage buildings in the city.
A neglected area of downtown in the 80s and 90s, Britomart, under the ownership of Cooper and Company, is a busy and diverse mix of restaurants, bars, boutiques and offices. The precinct continues to evolve, and there will soon be close to 200 businesses based at Britomart.
Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton welcomed Britomart’s involvement with the team. 'Britomart has transformed a formerly run-down part of central Auckland into an exciting destination.
'The team shares many of the company’s values and we have a common vision - achieving excellence in every area of operations.'
'Britomart is incredibly proud to be supporting Emirates Team New Zealand at the Extreme Sailing Series,' said Cooper and Company’s Peter Cooper.
'The precinct is home to world leading New Zealand fashion designers, chefs, businesses and more, and it will be thrilling to watch Emirates Team New Zealand competing at the highest international level,' said Peter.
'We’ve spent 10 years revitalising a once derelict – now thriving – part of Auckland as a legacy for our city, and we’re hoping that Emirates Team New Zealand will also succeed on its world stage of sailing as a stepping stone to the next America’s Cup.'
Extreme 40 race courses are short and tight; races last only eight to 12 minutes and there can be as many as 10 races a day. With 12 teams racing 40ft catamarans, the action is fast and thrilling.
Emirates Team New Zealand contested the series in 2011. It was a valuable introduction to top-level multi-hull racing for a team of seasoned monohull sailors faced with an America’s Cup racing catamarans.
This year the team will again use the series as a method of keeping sailing crew sharp. Team members will be rotated throughout the series with Dean Barker and Peter Burling sharing helming duties.
Extreme 40 racing is unlike any other; the teams are very competitive, races are short, the action non-stop and split-second decisions are needed.
Racing takes place over four days at each event: one day of open water racing followed by three days of stadium racing. If the breeze is favourable eight to 10 races can be held each day.
Remaining venues in the 2014 series are: Muscat, Oman (March 19-22), Qingdao (May 1-4), St Petersburg, Russia (June 26-29), Cardiff, Wales (August 22-25), Istanbul (September 11-14), The Mediterranean at a port to be announced (October 2-5), Sydney (Dec 11-14).