VELUX 5 OCEANS race team in Wellington
The start of 2009 saw the VELUX 5 OCEANS Race Management Team visiting Wellington (New Zealand), one of the new host ports for 2010-11 that was announced in December as part of the race route for the eighth edition. David Adams (Race Director), Alex Crosby (Event Director) and Tim Kelly (Communications Director) all made the trip down to the capital city of New Zealand, built amongst the beautiful hills and ocean bay on the Southern tip of New Zealand's North Island.
The team spent three days meeting with their new partners from the City of Wellington, as well as reviewing all the facilities and infrastructure on site that will be made available to the race and its competitors when the fleet arrives around New Year in 2011. Having sailed a tough Ocean Sprint from Cape Town, Wellington will be the ideal city to host the VELUX 5 OCEANS - the first time it will have done so since the race first started in 1982. Ideally located at the entrance to the Cook Straits, one of the most fearsome channels of ocean anywhere in the world, Wellington is in the perfect position "on the way" to Cape Horn. The fleet will arrive after a tough passage from South Africa and the skippers will then need to prepare themselves and their boats for the challenges of the isolated Southern Ocean for Ocean Sprint 3 to Salvador (Brazil).
Wellington looks set to give the race and the entrants everything they need, both in terms of skippers and boats. With a committed team on the ground, the support from the City looks set to be phenomenal. The yachts will be moored in the heart of the city on the well developed water front, along side bars and restaurants, and a stone's throw from the main streets and shops. Race offices and a media centre will be set up alongside the boats, and the race will organise haul out facilities as required.
The next challenge will be to work with events team at Absolutely Positively Wellington to build support amongst the local population so that the people of Wellington embrace the VELUX 5 OCEANS. The aim is to develop an engaging schedule of events and activities so that people come to see the boats on dock and bid farewell to them on the water.
The Race Management Team have trips scheduled over the coming weeks and months to all the cities hosting the 2010-11 Race: Cape Town (South Africa), Salvador (Brazil), Charleston (USA). The team continue to work very closely with the Grand Pavois Organisation to develop the plans for La Rochelle to ensure that the start and finish take the race to new heights.