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NZ Welcomes Arrival of Italian Tall Sailing Ship


NZ Welcomes Arrival of Spectacular Italian Tall Sailing Ship

Aucklanders will be treated to a magnificent sight when the Italian Navy’s tall sailing ship, Amerigo Vespucci, escorted by a welcoming flotilla, sails into Auckland on Sunday 20th October on its first visit to New Zealand, Minister for the America’s Cup Trevor Mallard said today.

An impressive symbol of sailing, Amerigo Vespucci, the sail training ship of the Italian Navy, is a magnificent three-masted vessel based on the design of an 18th Century warship.

The Amerigo Vespucci is due to berth at Princes Wharf, Quay Street, at 11.00am and will remain in New Zealand until the end of February.

“I hope Aucklanders will turn out in force to welcome the ship and its crew here,” Trevor Mallard said.

Spectators can either join the flotilla on the Waitemata Harbour, or catch a glimpse of the ship from one of the many vantage points around the harbour, or take part in the special welcoming ceremony on Princes Wharf at 1100 hours. (Full fact sheet attached).

The ship is visiting Auckland to celebrate the warm cultural and economic ties between New Zealand and Italy, to support the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup 2003, and to acknowledge the participation of the Italian challenger syndicates. The visit is also a tremendous training opportunity for the crew and midshipmen from the Italian Naval Academy.

“We are delighted to welcome the Amerigo Vespucci to New Zealand shores. Italy and New Zealand are already great friends following Prada’s success during the last Louis Vuitton regatta, and we’re looking forward to building on that friendship this time,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Our thanks go to the Italian Government for inviting Aucklanders, kiwis and international visitors aboard the ship, I’m sure its presence at the America’s Cup village will be quite an attraction.” . The Amerigo Vespucci is 101 metres in length from bowsprit to stern, displaces 4,100 tonnes, and has 20 types of sails with a surface area of 2800 square metres.

The Ministry of Tourism, is helping the Italian Government with the visit, and gratefully acknowledges the support of Royal New Zealand Navy, Ports of Auckland, Investment New Zealand, Tourism Auckland, and Auckland City.

Editors: Amerigo Vespucci fact sheet and Sunday timetable attached. Boaties wishing to join the welcome flotilla can obtain details from local yacht clubs. The ship will be open to the public. Times will be announced shortly.


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