In many ways Auckland feels like the sailing capital of the world. It is after all known as theCity of Sails – a harbourside city that has hosted two America’s Cups, and is home to countless yachties and their vessels. And from 27 February – 15 March 2015 it will host an official stopover as part of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. If you’re thinking about visiting during this time, read on about what’s on – and don’t forget to book your Auckland car hire with Hertz.
The Volvo Ocean Race is acknowledged as the greatest test of sailing prowess, in which monohulls embark on a nine month marathon around the world, through the Southern Ocean and truly challenging seas. It began in Alicante, Spain in October 2014 and will concludes in Gothenburg, Sweden in June 2015, covering over 39,000 nautical miles of the world’s most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí,Newport, Lisbon, and Lorient. Auckland will stage the Leg 4 finish from Sanya in China and the start of Leg 5, which takes competitors around the infamous Cape Horn in Chile and up to a stopover in Itajai, Brazil.
The boats are scheduled to arrive from China on 27 February. The Auckland stopoverfeatures a a Pro-Am Race on the afternoon of 13 March from 2pm, and an In-Port Race, with points counting towards the Volvo Ocean Race overall standings, on 14 March from 2pm.On 15 March they will depart for Brazil. (If you’re keen to get involved, volunteers are being sought for a number of roles to assist the port crew.)
For those on land, the fun is all free. The Auckland Viaduct will be transformed into a buzzing race village with the Viaduct Events Centre acting as race head quarters. On Te Wero Island celebrations will include free entertainment from 9am to 10pm each day, plus a variety of stalls, activities and of course eateries, restaurants and bars. At Pit Lane in front of the Viaduct Events Centre you will be able to see the Volvo Open 65 fleet up close and watch the teams prepare. The interactive Volvo Ocean Race Experience Zone is a great way to learn about life on board and out at sea, with simulators and more. Or splash out and book a charter boat to cruise the harbour and watch the proceedings and parties from out on the harbour.