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Volvo Boats Arrive in Auckland

Written by Cathy Siegismund
January 2002

After the first of the year and a half of cruising, Ken and have settled into land-life in Auckland. We have done a few, emphasis on few, boat projects, settled into a workout routine at our gym, and have been enjoying NZ and our friend's company.

Photos by Vernita Lytle

Ken gave some beginning kite surfing lessons a try

Auckland is called the City of Sails and appears to have earned its nick name. Not only are the America's Cup boats on the water every day, but Auckland was a stop on in the Volvo Ocean Race this year. The Volvo Ocean Race is a round the world race. It is an international race with teams sailing 60-foot very fast boats around the world's southern oceans and around all of the great capes. The race makes about 7 stops and one of them this year is in Auckland. This is an extreme race with the boats reaching speeds over 20 knots in some of the toughest conditions you can find. This year the Volvo Race boats joined the Sydney to Hobart race the day after Christmas and after a 3-hour stop the boats continued onto Auckland arriving about 7-8 days later.

Photo from the Volvo Race Web site

A picture from the Volvo Ocean Race Web site of a large water spout the boats encountered on the Sydney to Hobart

Photo from the Volvo Race Web site

Arrival of the winning Volvo Race boat into Auckland, photo from www.volvooceanrace.org

Auckland is a city of sailors and they made an impressive showing as Auckland turned out quite a party as the Volvo boats arrived. A group of us from the marina took the ferry across the bay and headed for The Viaduct. The Viaduct is a marina and area where the Volvo boats where moored and where the America's Cup syndicates are located as they prepare for the Cup.

Auckland welcomes the Volvo Ocean Race

There was not a spare inch of space around the Viaduct basin as everyone enjoyed the sunny afternoon, a free concert and the bars and restaurants that surround the basin

There were tents and booths representing the Volvo Ocean Race and all of the participating boat's sponsors

Entrance to the Viaduct area.

On display is Team New Zealand's controversial Cup boat design from one of the past America's Cup Races.

Winner of the Hobart - Auckland leg

Two of the mega yachts moored in the viaduct basin

The basin was not only filled with the Volvo Ocean Racers, but also had an impressive display of mega yachts. This included Larry Ellison's new mega yacht power boat, as well as a new 148 foot ketch recently built and launched in Auckland.

Drew, Vernita and I trying on some of the 3-D glasses in one of the sponsor's booths

The Volvo boats with the booths and giant screen hung from a crane so everyone could watch the live band

If Auckland turns out in such full force for the Volvo Ocean Race, it is hard to imagine what the city must be like for the America's Cup.


A large group of us went out for dinner, with the intention of returning to welcome the last boat in on the race. However, the wind had died and with a 1am expected arrival, we decided we'd come down for their send off the end of the month, rather than their arrival.

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