Auckland to host Volvo Ocean Race again
MICHELLE ROBINSON AND DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Auckland will again play host to sailing's greatest adventure after winning selection as a host port in the Volvo Ocean Race for the next two series.
Auckland Council controlled organisation Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) announced today it had signed a deal for Auckland to play host in both 2014-2015 and 2017-2018.
The council will invest $5.5 million into the even and an economic study saying the races will generate $7.49m for the region.
Crews and support teams will be based in Auckland for 15 days of each race.
Auckland, a world renowned sailing capital, returned to the race route for the first time in 10 years in 2011-12 and staged a spectacular stopover at Auckland's Viaduct, with spectators packing the race village and the Waitemata Harbour.
Results from Google showed Volvo Ocean Race was the second most searched term in New Zealand in 2012.
The 2014-15 route will again see Auckland play host to the start of the main Southern Ocean leg, sending the teams on their way around Cape Horn and on to the leg finish in Itajaí, Brazil. The dates of the stopover will be revealed next month.
"Sailing into Auckland after a 10-year gap felt like the race was coming home," Volvo Ocean Race chief executive Knut Frostad said.
"Tens of thousands of passionate fans packed the Race Village each day, and the crowds for all the arrivals plus the in-port race and leg start were among the best we've ever had.
"Auckland people know sailing and know the race. As soon as we arrived it was clear that we'd been away from this stunning city too long and it's hugely satisfying to be able to say that we're coming back straight away this time. Having an agreement in place for the next two editions is just the icing on the cake."
This will be the ninth time the race has stopped at Auckland.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the win was exciting for Auckland.
"New Zealand's fabled sailing heritage, and the affinity Aucklanders have with the sea which surrounds us, makes this city the perfect Volvo Ocean Race destination.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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