One of New Zealand’s most renowned sailors – Grant Dalton has given his support to the Auckland to Bluff Ocean Race, speaking about this major new yachting event, while preparing to head to San Francisco for America’s Cup racing.
In speaking about the 2014 A2B (Auckland to Bluff) Ocean Race, Dalton said – 'over recent years there has been quite a decline in the off-shore racing circuit in NZ. It really needed a shot in the arm to get people ocean racing again, and to blood the next group of round the world sailors. The race from New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, to New Zealand's southernmost port, Bluff, starts on February the ninth next year could do that'.
Grant Dalton has raced around the world seven times, the first five as part of the Whitbread Round the World Race, which is now the Volvo Ocean Race.
In describing the challenge that the A2B Ocean race presents, Dalton said – 'it could be hard, it could be easy. A bit like the Sydney to Hobart Race. It could be a sleigh ride, or it could be an uphill slog down through to New Plymouth, and then down the west coast of the South Island.'
In looking ahead to the inaugural A2B Ocean Race which departs Auckland on 9 February 2014, Dalton said – 'It’s a great initiative. I hope it is well supported. I applaud the people that are taking this on.'
Entries for A2B Ocean Race
The race fleet for the A2B Ocean Race is limited to 30 boats in its inaugural year. Half of these boats are expected to be international entries, seeking the challenge of pitting themselves against the challenges of New Zealand’s coastal waters and the Southern Ocean. Expressions of interest can be made through the race website – www.a2b-race.com.