Auckland knows how to throw a party, and I could feel the excitement in the air as I approached. The City of Sails is perfectly situated for a stopover of Volvo Ocean Race Around the World. Auckland has been a host for nearly all of the races since it’s inception in 1973. A gruelling test of skill and endurance, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s longest and most challenging yacht race and is often considered the world’s most difficult professional sporting event.
Previously called the Whitbread Round the World Race, it runs every three years. The current race began in Spain on 22 Oct 2017 and has just completed its sixth of eleven legs to circumnavigate the globe. It will take seven yachts approximately nine months to travel 45,000 miles. The most challenging leg is next, crossing the Southern Ocean from Auckland New Zealand to Itajai Brazil.
Spreading a Message of Sustainability and Saving our Oceans
More than just a challenge, this year the teams are spreading the United Nation’s message of sustainability and promoting the UN campaign “Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic”.
Taking this a step further, the UN partnered a yacht skipped by Dee Caffari. She leads a young team of 1o sailors, most of whom are under age 30. The team’s guiding mission is to amplify the United Nations Environmental message throughout the race.
Please share the message of sustainability and clean seas by pinning this to Pinterest:
More Images of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stop Over
The fleet is on a stopover in New Zealand and the city has created a race village to celebrate.
This weekend features pro-am races (crew plus invited guests). It’s an opportunity for the teams to sail before heading off on their next leg, from New Zealand to Brazil.
See the Fleet from the Water
We found two places to watch the boats. First, from behind the pit lane (the team bases located next to the ANZ Viaduct Event Centre) and later we saw them from Queen’s Wharf while standing next to The Cloud. However, the best way to see the boats is from out on the water. If you are in Auckland and don’t have a boat, here are few fun options for getting out on the water (although you may not see the Volvo boats from all of them):
Images from the Prior Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stop Over
Three years ago was the first time we headed to Auckland to see the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. Here are our highlights from 2014.
* The current number of sailors allowed on each of the ocean racing boats in the Volvo Ocean Yacht Race can be between five and ten, and that number is determined by gender. An all-male crew is a maximum of five, all female is a maximum of 7, and if it is 50-50, they can sail with a crew of up to ten sailors.
More about the Volvo Ocean Race and the Auckland Stopover
- You can click here to download a map of the Auckland race village.
- The next leg starts at 2 pm on March 18, 2018.
- All teams race a Volvo Ocean 65. With the boats all built to the same specs, the race is about skill and endurance, rather than craftsmanship and technology.
- Former New Zealand winning skippers include Sir Peter Blake on the Steinlager 2 and Graham Dalton on the NZ Endeavour. A third New Zealand skipper, Mike Sanderson, also won, but he was skippering a Dutch yacht.
- The seven teams competing in the 2017-18 race are: AkzoNobel (Netherlands), Dongfeng (China), Mapfre (Spain), Vestas 11th Hour (USA/Denmark), Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (Hong Kong), Turn the Tide on Plastic (United Nations), and Brunel (Netherlands).
- The Big Three in world sailing events are the Volvo Ocean Race, along with the Ameria’s Cup challenge and the Olympics.
Read next: Enjoy Yacht Racing in Auckland New Zealand