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Harbourmaster gives regatta spectators thumbs up

Harbourmaster gives regatta spectators the thumbs up

21 October 2002

ARC harbourmaster James McPetrie has given Louis Vuitton Cup spectators the thumbs up as the regatta moves into its second stage this week.

Mr McPetrie heads up the ARC’s Maritime Operations team which has the overall responsibility for navigation and safety on Auckland’s waters.

“The on the water spectators were great during Round Robin One, in fact it would be fair to say the weather caused more problems than the spectator fleet,” McPetrie says.

His comments come after a debrief of Round Robin One involving the ARC’s Maritime Operations team, the Police, the challenger syndicates and all other agencies who have a role in the on the water running of the regatta.

“Everybody involved felt the first round robin went very smoothly apart from a few weather delays. Spectators were well behaved and co-operative on the water and adhered to the basic safety rules as we have come to expect from Auckland boaties,” Mr McPetrie says.

He estimates spectator numbers of up to 250 craft on the busiest days of racing so far, although many days fell well below that.

“We will be expecting a gradual increase in spectator numbers but at this stage we are not imposing any special speed restrictions.

“We are simply insisting that spectator craft obey the five knot rule – their speed must not exceed five knots within 200 metres of the shore or within 50 metres of another vessel.”

Other key safety measures include observing the give way rules and caryying lifejackets for every person on board a spectator craft.

Mr McPetrie says on the water spectators during Round Robin Two should remember to tune in to VHF Channel 18 for race commentaries and for Harbourmaster’s instructions.

A guide for spectators taking to the water to watch the Louis Vuitton Cup or America’s Cup regattas is available from the ARC. Phone Enviroline on 366 2070 for a free copy.

ENDS

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