Emirates Team NZ’s Grant Dalton and Chris Nicholson at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Camper Farewell and Auckland Stopover launch
The crew of the Volvo Ocean Race entry, Camper sailed by Emirates Team New Zealand, were farewelled this morning at a media function at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
The Auckland Stopover for the 39,000nm ocean classic was launched at the joint function.
Stopover Port Director, Tom Mayo, outlined the plans for the mid-March 2012 stopover which involves the transformation of Auckland into a vibrant race village located in the Viaduct Harbour, and spread between the new Events Centre and a new area, Latitude Island.
Stopover Port Director, Tom Mayo explains the plans for Auckland at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Camper Farewell and Auckland Stopover launch
The racers will be on public view from the race finish in the western side of the Viaduct Harbour, while the entertainment and large screen public viewing areas will be centred on Latitude Island.
A second public area in front of the Viaducts Event Centre, to be known as Pit Lane, will allow the public to get a first hand view of the race boats and race crews.
The highlights of the the stopover will be the Pro-Am race on the 16th March, followed by the In-Port race on the 17 March and then the race re-start itself on 18 March.
The race is expected to finish in Auckland on 8 March having sailed to New Zealand from Sanya, China on Leg 4.
Leg 5 to Itajai (Brazil) will start on 18 March and will be the longest leg in the race. It will also take the seven strong fleet deep into the Southern Ocean before rounding Cape Horn.
The 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race starts in Alicante Spain in three months time on 29 October 2011, and will retrace a more traditional route for the round the world race, which last stopped over in Auckland ten years ago during the 2001/2002 Race.
For more on the Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover see www.volvooceanraceauckland.com