Please select your home edition
Edition
Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

The Ocean Race: 'This is a special race' - Tony Rae

by Jonno Turner 18 Apr 2019 02:26 PDT
Leg 6 to Auckland, day 5 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. Bianca Cook grinding in the surf. 10 February, . © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

Kiwi Race veteran Tony Rae on working with Bianca Cook's NZ-flagged campaign and why The Ocean Race means so much to New Zealand.

Tony Rae is no stranger The Ocean Race fans. Having made his debut in 1985-86 onboard Lion New Zealand, the Kiwi veteran known as Trae has raced five campaigns spanning three decades and won the trophy twice.

He's back in Race HQ in Alicante a place that he's visited many times as he's prepared to go offshore over the years, but this time, he's in a different mode. With eyes fixed firmly on the 2021-22 edition, he's running a campaign the first New Zealand entry in a decade.

"It is exciting, and being a NZ entry is something that I've been thinking about a lot. People have asked me over the years why there isn't a Kiwi boat in the race, and it's all very well to say it, but to make it happen is not so easy."

In 2021-22, the nation will indeed have an NZ-flagged boat to cheer, led by a new Kiwi icon skipper Bianca Cook. She made her name in the 2017-18 edition as one of the stars of the Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign, and she's set to return next race for an even bigger challenge skippering a team.

As someone who has sailed with some of the most iconic skippers in Race history, including Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, Trae thinks that Bianca who will be 30 when the Race begins is more than capable of making the step up to skipper.

"Bianca did the last race on Turn the Tide on Plastic and she's very positive about doing the race again," explains Trae. "We've seen a lot of young skippers come through the race before, she's got the drive and she wants to do it, so I'm going to back her all the way."

He continues: "Ian Cook, her father, is the Commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron at home, and he got the wheels rolling on this project. To be part of running the campaign is something that I'm excited to take on."

Bianca announced her campaign live during The Ocean Race brand launch in March 2019, and with The Ocean Race's Richard Mason declaring that six of the eight VO65s are currently spoken for, it's setting up to be an extremely competitive class.

"This time, with three Under 26, three Under 30 and three females, the VO65 class gives a lot of the younger generation sailors who want to do ocean racing a big opportunity it's the same opportunity that Bianca got on Turn the Tide on Plastic," explains Trae.

And that diversity and opportunity is important, explains Trae. "It's a special race," he admits. "I don't know anyone who has done the race that doesn't take away some special moment or special friends from that time.

"My first race was in 1985 when I was just 23 years old. The race has always meant a lot to me, and coming to the HQ in Alicante, you see quotes from Sir Peter Blake and Mike Sanderson on the wall people say it's like being in a big family, and it does feel like that when you get involved again. Everyone knows what it's like to do the race in different forms, whether that's on the shore or sailing, and that's why I think it's so important to carry it on with a NZ entry, and allow more of the next generation to come and do it, and experience this."

www.theoceanrace.com

Related Articles

2020 Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy overall
Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team wins the 2020 Sailing Trophy The inaugural Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy has come to a close, with The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team's 'Racing for the Planet' crew taking line honours in both legs this weekend. Posted on 29 Jun
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy begins
The event is being held to raise awareness and important funds The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy has begun in light wind conditions, as competitors across three classes race two legs between Cascais and Sesimbra hoping to take home the prize pool of over €30,000. Posted on 27 Jun
Extreme Drone Catches
Here are the bits we didn't show you... You've seen our incredible drone footage from the remotest and wildest oceans, but here are the bits we didn't show you... Posted on 20 Jun
VO65 entry and star-studded line-up
50+ boats confirmed for inaugural Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy The inaugural Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy is set to thrill sailing fans as two VO65 entries are confirmed to join a fleet of over 50 competing boats that will line up on June 27 for the start of a two-leg race to win a share of a €30,000 prize pool. Posted on 19 Jun
VO65 entry and star-studded line-up
Charles Caudrelier will take part in the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team has announced the official entry of its VO65 'Racing for the Planet' boat in next week's inaugural Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, crewed by a star-studded team. Posted on 17 Jun
The Ocean Race and IUCN join forces
Working together to organise impactful sports events and global activities The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has established a unique collaboration with The Ocean Race to work together to organise impactful sports events and global activities that will amplify awareness towards sustainability. Posted on 8 Jun
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Official Film
A race which will be remembered for the brutal conditions The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race is remembered for brutal conditions which dismasted or otherwise damaged large portions of the six boat fleet from the start, with half the boats retiring on Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town. Posted on 30 May
The time to focus on the Ocean is now
Leading voices come together for The Ocean Race Summits #2 Leading voices come together for The Ocean Race Summits #2 - online - to say the solutions are there for meaningful change. Now is the time to make it happen. Posted on 28 May
Happy Hour with Stretch & Stirfry - Abby Ehler
The boys chat with the three time Volvo Ocean Race veteran This week we talk to Abby Ehler. Three time Volvo Ocean Race veteran, a truly respected race boat captain and the driving force behind The Magenta Project, a fabulous initiative that develops opportunities for women in performance sailing. Posted on 25 May
RORC Time Over Distance - Sam Davies
Skipper of Team SCA in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race Sam Davies' first big adventure was as part of Tracy Edwards crew for the 1998 Jules Verne Record attempt. Ahead of the record, the catamaran Royal Sun Alliance was dismasted in the Southern Ocean. Posted on 24 May
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERMelges 14 2019 FooterHighfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTER