Heading for Auckland
Auckland has been confirmed as the halfway stopover port for the Global Ocean Race circumnavigation which starts at Southampton, UK, on Sunday 21 September 2014.
With nine teams from six countries currently entered in the event, the GOR Race Organisation is working closely with ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) and Waterfront Auckland to showcase the 30,000-mile round-the-world race. ATEED, the council controlled organisation responsible for the successful delivery of Rugby World Cup 2011, V8 Supercars ITM 400 Auckland, Volvo Ocean Race Stopover and over 32 events in Auckland’s Major Events programme, has been fundamental in securing Auckland as the GOR Leg 2 stopover.
Waterfront Auckland, the council controlled organisation responsible for planning and development of the inner city waterfront and successful regeneration of Wynyard Quarter and Queens Wharf, is working with the GOR to optimise arrangements for the fleet’s stay in Viaduct Harbour.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the Global Ocean Race stopover further enhances Auckland’s reputation as one of the world’s yachting capitals. “The America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race and now the Global Ocean Race tell the same story – Auckland is a destination world yachting can’t afford to ignore,” says the Mayor. “Competitors in the GOR have my commitment – they can look forward to a great reception.”
Brett O’Riley, Chief Executive of ATEED comments: “We are delighted to welcome the Global Ocean Race Fleet and international visitors, officials and spectators to Auckland. As a prominent sailing destination, I’m sure teams will be given a warm welcome. We can provide world-class marine services to crews of the GOR as they prepare for one of the most gruelling legs through the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn,” says Brett O’Riley.
“Developments on Auckland’s Waterfront continue at great pace and we are proud to showcase our award winning design-led spaces to the world in hosting the Global Ocean Race fleet,” comments John Dalzell, CEO of Waterfront Auckland. “The Viaduct marina is the natural spectator home for yachting in Auckland and we are excited to see offshore boats return once again for the GOR stopover. It’s events like these which help make the Auckland waterfront the vibrant, enjoyable space that it is and I am sure many an enthusiast will jump at the chance to come down to view the boats and meet the sailors.”
For GOR Race Director, Josh Hall, Auckland is the prime choice for a stopover: “Auckland’s hospitality for round-the-world race teams is legendary and public enthusiasm for sailing is virtually unmatched,” says Hall. “Following the hardships of Leg 2 in the Indian Ocean, our teams will have easy access to expertise in all aspects of offshore yacht racing to repair any damage to sails or gear and prepare fully for the 4,000 miles of the Pacific’s Southern Ocean between New Zealand and Cape Horn in Leg 3.”
Around 135,000 boats are registered in Auckland – the highest per capita figure of boat ownership for any city in the world, with one in three Auckland households owning a boat. Formerly a commercial harbour, the city’s Viaduct Basin is an area ringed by stunning apartments, offices and restaurants and is a familiar venue for international sailing events. In 2000, the Viaduct Harbour was the base for the America’s Cup.
With nine GOR entries so far and 15 months remaining until the start of the GOR 2014-15, confirmation of Auckland completes the stopover schedule for the event.
The GOR starts from the PSP Southampton Boat Show on Sunday 21st September 2014 and finishes at Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth in early May 2015 with the racing fleet making stopovers in Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; Punta del Este, Uruguay and Charleston, USA, before returning to Europe.