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Volvo Ocean Race – now heading to Wellington

12 February 2006

Volvo Ocean Race – now heading to Wellington

Wellington is ready to become the City of Sails this week with the arrival of the world’s premier ocean yacht race – the Volvo Ocean Race.

The six-strong fleet left Melbourne today on a 1450 nautical mile drag race to Wellington and, weather permitting, may arrive as early as Wednesday evening.

The fleet will stay in the Capital for a pit stop before starting the fourth leg of the race to Rio de Janeiro on Sunday afternoon. The yachts will be berthed at Queens Wharf on Wellington’s waterfront, which will also be the location for the race village.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast says it is fantastic that Wellington is hosting the Volvo Ocean Race for the first time.

“The Volvo Ocean Race is being followed all round the world and has a TV audience of more than 800 million. The race will again put Wellington in the international spotlight.

“I encourage all Wellingtonians to go down to the waterfront and see yachts that are considered the Formula Ones of ocean racing.”

Queens Wharf will be the centre of the celebrations which will have a carnival atmosphere. On Friday the fleet will be given a spectacular official welcome with a free public event on the waterfront, Ring of Fire, which includes Cook Island drumming, dancing and a fire display.

One of those looking forward to Wellington is Mike Sanderson, the skipper of race leader ABN AMRO.
Sanderson is one of 15 New Zealanders in the race.

“We are all very excited – (with) five Kiwis on board… we have had an enjoyable race to date and we’re looking forward to getting back down into some familiar waters now.”

For up to date information on the Volvo Ocean Race, visit


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