Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover News 15 - The Global Party begins!

The twin stages set up - Viaduct Harbour Media Tour, Volvo Ocean Race

As the fleet battle it out on the way into Auckland, the Race Village is open in the Viaduct.

The Global Party begins with twelve hours of entertainment every day from 9am to 9pm. Today's line up includes five live bands as well as race highlights and action on the big screens. Then there's the Volvo Experience with the Grinding Challenge, the Race simulator and Air Balls on water plus movies in the 3D cinema and the Dome. And it's all free

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Issue 15

8 March 2012

Tamati came to look around this morning live on Breakfast and then the Mayor of Auckland cut the red ribbon to officially open the Auckland Stopover Race Village.

As the fleet picks up speed on the final run into Auckland, the current ETA for the first boat is Saturday evening.

Read the latest Race news here

The 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race

The Race features nine Legs with Stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajai (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France) with the finish in Galway (Ireland) in July 2012.

Six teams have entered the Race, including CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.

News from CAMPER

Keep up to date with the latest news direct from Emirates Team New Zealand entry CAMPER by reading the ETNZ blog. Read more here.

Follow the Race

The organisers of the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race have made it easy to follow the live action from the Race every minute of the day. There's live video streaming, a Race Tracker, blogs, daily updates on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in addition to global media coverage. Find all the links here

The Auckland Stopover

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is now scheduled to arrive in Auckland at the end of Leg 4 from Sanya (China) on Saturday 10 March 2012 (subject to change). The Pro-Am Race is on Friday 16 March and the In-Port Race on Saturday 17 March. The Start of Leg 5 will take place on Sunday 18 March.

View the Race Village

Get a sneak preview of the the Auckland Stopover with our 3D flyover video and see how Auckland's Viaduct Harbour is being transformed into the Race Village. Watch it here


Keep up to date with all the news from the Auckland Stopover on our website. We are on Facebookand Twittertoo.

Let the Global Party begin!

Uploaded ImageLet the party begin! Auckland Mayor Len Brown (centre) cuts the ribbon to open the Auckland Stopover Race Village watched by Port Director Tom Mayo (left) and Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad (right).

Surrounding them are some of the fabulous marine creatures from King Neptune's Trail, the parade that will perform daily in the Race Village from Saturday.

Wisdom the Albatross and Harry the Hapuka are holding the ribbon and behind are Amal the Turtle, Pablo the Prawn and Louis le Crab together with sea anemones and other creatures.

The man behind the camera

It’s the Auckland Stopover’s job to entice people to come down to the Race Village but it’s Vince Gooding’s job to keep them there.

Until 18 March, when the fleet start the next Leg to Brazil, the Race Village will be pumping with live entertainment and a variety of activities for the entire family. A dedicated closed television network will bring all the events to all parts of the Race Village, all day long, for the duration of the Auckland Stopover.

As producer of Village Programming, Gooding and his technical team have assembled an extensive video display network throughout the Race Village that will bring complete coverage of the Auckland Stopover as well as other entertainment and events taking place during the eleven-day event. In addition to a huge screen to the side of the PUMA main stage on Te Wero Island and elevated big screens placed at each end of the Race Village, more than 50 flat screen televisions have been placed in the Latitude Lounge, the Media Centre and various venues throughout the Viaduct Basin.

Between broadcasts of the live performances on the PUMA stage, visitors to the Village will be able to view live video streaming direct from the Volvo Open 70 boats, coverage of the In-Port and Pro-Am Races and other local activities, team introductions, crew interviews, sponsors’ messages and clips covering significant events from past Legs of the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. Race fans will be able to watch the crew battling it out on their way to Auckland while enjoying a meal or drink from the comfort of one of the many venues set up for the event.

“The broadcasts will also be an important source of information for the large media contingent who are in Auckland to cover the event,” says Gooding, who has more than twenty years’ experience in sports presentation. “The media will be able to tune in and gather information to relay to news sources all over the world.”

Gooding’s technical crew have put in approximately 250 man hours laying an estimated 4-5 kilometres of 8-gauge fibre optic cable which is used to connect the complex network of video screens to the presentation control centre. In order to connect the screens on Te Wero Island to the Media Centre in the Viaduct Events Centre, a team of SCUBA divers spent three hours laying cable on the sea bed across the channel under the footbridge.

Whether you are fan of yacht racing, enjoy live entertainment or you just want to come down and feel the buzz, the Auckland Stopover promises to be an exciting time in the Viaduct. Wherever you choose to hang out in the Race Village, rain or shine, Vince Gooding’s Village programming will ensure that everyone will be close to the action.

On-the-water volunteers

The volunteers for the Auckland Stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race are not just to be found on land – they’re on the water as well.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has managed to persuade 40 boat owners to give up their time (and their craft) to act as race marshals during the final three days of the Stopover.

The Squadron is well placed to oversee this type of event. Most recently, and very successfully, the Squadron hosted the America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton series.

Given this experience, the Squadron has the privilege of being the only club of its type to be granted the responsibility of running Stopover races. In the other Stopover ports, the Volvo team looks after such events.

And the races are not just opportunities to see and be seen – the results of next Friday’s In-Port Race will count towards a boat’s overall score in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Included in the 40 boats are Farr 10-20s and Elliott-designed boats, eight members of the Young 88 Owners’ Association, and five boats from the Stewart 34 Association.

Grant Crawford of the Young 88s says his members are looking forward to being marshals in the start area on the racing days.

And Stewart president Charles Scoones is delighted that some of his members are able to be part of such a prestigious event.

“The five Stewarts involved – Princess, Panacea, Promise, Pahi and Precedent – will be acting as race marshals at the turning mark off Fergusson Wharf. Depending on the wind, the mark will either be closer to the wharf or across on the Devonport side.

“The Stewarts are well-known in the yachting world. They were historically the Citizen match-racing fleet, the first yachting event in the world to be televised.”

The course marshals’ responsibility is to keep spectator craft away from the race course. Politely but firmly.

Marshal boats will all fly a 1.2m fluorescent green inflatable buoy from the mast forestay. The fenders are marked ‘Marshal’ and all have a 4m tail, so they will be hard to overlook.

Melanie Benton, sailing manager for the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron, says that the marshals will not be there to spoil anyone’s fun.

“All we ask is that boaties are sensible and careful. The courses have been arranged so that vantage points will be easily available, and everyone will be able to get a good view,' says Benton. “What we really don’t want is lots of small craft (or even larger ones) crowding the racing yachts and creating a washing machine effect.”

Read the Harbourmaster’s on water instructions here

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