• 16-MAR-2015

Weekly Highlights N°17

A beautiful day for the New Zealand Herald in port race made for a pretty special event. Auckland, the City of Sails, gave the crews fantastic support. 5900 spectators came to the village to cheer on the teams as they raced around Waitemata Harbour.

There were some well known faces on board the boats to live this incredible experience. Rugby legend Jonah Lomu was on board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Blair Tuke of Emirates Team New Zealand, joined MAPFRE and his teammate Pete Burling was on board Dongfeng Race Team.

Time to start, 12 knots of easterly wind pushed the boats over the start line of the New Zealand Herald in port race. A good start for MAPFRE, but they were passed by Team SCA who took the lead approaching the first mark. The female squad sailed an impressive race, leading the fleet from then on. After sailing under the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Team SCA crossed the finish line in first place becoming the first team to win 2 in port races following their victory in Abu Dhabi.

A morale boosting second place finish for Team Brunel went some way to improving the mood on board following the disappointment of consecutive fifth placed finishes in the last 2 legs.

MAPFRE rounded off the podium making this their best in port race result so far. The Spanish team are flying high after leading the fleet into Auckland.

Perfect sailing conditions made for a fantastic in port race but the weather forecast didn't look the same for the start of leg 5. A huge cyclone forced the Volvo Ocean Race to delay the departure of the fleet to Itajai, Brasil.

Safety is always the priority so the Auckland Race village had to be shut down. Jack Lloyd and his team were taking extra security measures to guarantee the safety of the boats.

The boats remained in the port and a full closing ceremony took place indoors. The fleet was blessed by Taiaha Hawke of Ngati Whatua and All Blacks Dan Carter and Richie McCaw had the opportunity to visit the crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

Leg 5 will start not before Tuesday morning. Cyclone Pam means a difficult start to what is already the toughest leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.


  • Marie Laurens
    Volvo Ocean Race News Distribution Manager