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Stopover a success
Mar 21, 2012
Cranleigh director Paul Bayly, chairman of Auckland's Stopover Committee for the Volvo Ocean Race, expects the successful event attracting more than 250,000 people will return a small surplus.
The stopover from March 8 to 18 exceeded all our expectations,says Paul. We had planned for 200,000 people to make the trek down to the waterfront race village to view the yachts and watch the in-port race and we probably ended up with close to 300,000 visitors.
The last Auckland stopover on the around the world yacht race was a decade ago and there was a brief 48 hour pitstop in Wellington in the 2005/6 race.
It wasn't only the race village people turned out to see. Hundreds of boats created a spectacular fleet as the six Volvo yachts raced round in the in-harbour course the day before setting off on the arduous fifth leg through the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn to Itajai, Brazil.
Paul says the Stopover Committee wanted to leverage New Zealand's position as a world class marine city. The yacht village and numbers of people visiting is a reminder of how great Auckland is as a sailing destination.
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad says the team and yacht crews came with high expectations and they were exceeded. Auckland has changed, the Volvo race has changed and the Viaduct has changed for everyone's benefit.
Paul says a bid for another Auckland stopover is expected to be placed with the organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race in the next few months.