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Volvo Ocean Race to set sail for Auckland again

Media release
29 January 2013

Volvo Ocean Race to set sail for Auckland again

The Waitemata Harbour will again host the world’s elite adventure yacht racing crews, with confirmation today that Auckland has won a coveted stopover role for the next two Volvo Ocean Races.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council, led a bid to host both the 2014-15 and 2017-18 races, following a hugely successful stopover in last year’s race which saw the inner Waitemata lined with spectators on water and land, and helped Auckland to the silver medal at the prestigious Sport City Awards in 2012.

The event will see crews and support teams sail into Auckland for 15 days during each round-the-world race.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says: “This is an exciting win 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.

“My goal is for Auckland to become the world’s most liveable city. A key component of us meeting that goal, and delivering on our ambitious economic transformation objectives, is to play host to major events such as the next two Volvo Ocean Races.”

ATEED will invest $5.5 million from its Major Events Fund into hosting the two races, which an independent consultancy expects to inject $7.49 million to the Auckland region’s GDP.

Jennah Wootten, ATEED General Manager Destination (acting), says today’s announcement is a fantastic way to start 2013’s major events programme.

“This was an extremely competitive bid process, with an ever-expanding list of rival countries trying to host the Volvo Ocean Race. Auckland winning the right to be a stopover for the next two races reflects ATEED’s growing global reputation for delivering major international events.”

She says the stopovers are expected to generate about 18,000 new visitor nights for the region, and significant international media coverage.

“Hosting important international sporting events is a key economic growth driver, and this is another important win to add to Auckland’s portfolio alongside other globally renowned events such as the 2017 World Masters Games and the IRB Junior World Championships 2014.

“Google statistics for New Zealand last year showed Volvo Ocean Race was the second highest trending search, which clearly indicates the level of interest and support here for what is one of the world’s great sporting adventures.

“The city has shown it has the infrastructure, particularly in terms of waterfront facilities, to successfully host the world’s most important sailing events.”

Team New Zealand entered the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 on board Camper, and it is hoped there will again be a Kiwi challenge for the next event.

Ends

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