by Penny Dain
The Sanya race village, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.
Hundreds of applicants have signed up as volunteers for next month's Auckland Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race and the organisers have now closed volunteer registration.
'Just under 500 volunteers have registered on the database and we’ve been blown away by the quality and commitment,' says Port Director Tom Mayo. 'Professionals and superannuants, students and yachties from all over New Zealand and overseas have got involved and many have already put in long days in the final planning phase for the event.'
The majority of volunteers are New Zealanders but applications also came from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The age range is from 16 to 78.
The volunteers are filling roles both on and off the water including accreditation, information services, media operations, Volvo Experience assistants, backstage positions, drivers, dock marshals, Try Sailing, spectator services and much more.
One will be dressed as Wisdom the Albatross, the official mascot of Keep the Oceans Clean! initiative. Others will be assisting with the Air Balls, the Grinding Challenge and the model Volvo Cars and Trucks. Groups will work in spectator services, shore team support, event operations, container storage and other support areas.
'We’ve appointed 320 volunteers to specific roles to date,' says Mayo. 'We’ve got one final big training session on 11 February and ten days later we will start to build the Race Village. It’s exciting times with only 30 days to go now until the arrival of the fleet.'
The Auckland Stopover runs from 8 - 18 March.