Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover News 16 - Follow the Race

Volvo Pavilion - Viaduct Harbour Media Tour, Volvo Ocean Race

As the fleet battle it out on the way into Auckland, the Race Village is open in the Viaduct.

The Global Party begins with twelve hours of entertainment every day from 9am to 9pm. Today's line up includes five live bands as well as race highlights and action on the big screens. Then there's the Volvo Experience with the Grinding Challenge, the Race simulator and Air Balls on water plus movies in the 3D cinema and the Dome. And it's all free

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Issue 169 March 2012The sun shone on the Race Village today as thousands of visitors enjoyed the huge range of attractions on offer and the music on the main stage.On the water, Groupama maintains the lead but Puma has moved past Telefonica into second place and Emirates Team New Zealand's entry CAMPER continues to challenge for a podium place.Read the latest Race news hereThe 2011/12 Volvo Ocean RaceThe Race features nine Legs with Stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajai (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France) with the finish in Galway (Ireland) in July 2012.Six teams have entered the Race, including CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.News from CAMPERKeep up to date with the latest news direct from Emirates Team New Zealand entry CAMPER by reading the ETNZ blog. Read more here.Follow the RaceThe organisers of the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race have made it easy to follow the live action from the Race every minute of the day. There's live video streaming, a Race Tracker, blogs, daily updates on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in addition to global media coverage. Find all the links hereThe Auckland StopoverThe Volvo Ocean Race fleet is now scheduled to arrive in Auckland at the end of Leg 4 from Sanya (China) on Saturday 10 March 2012 (subject to change). The Pro-Am Race is on Friday 16 March and the In-Port Race on Saturday 17 March. The Start of Leg 5 will take place on Sunday 18 March.View the Race VillageGet a sneak preview of the the Auckland Stopover with our 3D flyover video and see how Auckland's Viaduct Harbour is being transformed into the Race Village. Watch it hereWebsiteKeep up to date with all the news from the Auckland Stopover on our website. We are on Facebookand Twittertoo.Follow the RaceRace fans can now follow the boats in real time as they race into Auckland at the end of Leg 4.The Volvo Ocean Race tracker has now gone live. The tracker normally updates every three hours but as the action hits its climax with the leading boats approaching the finish line in Auckland, the updates will come through every 60 seconds.The first boat’s estimated arrival into Auckland is currently 8pm on Saturday, so fans will be able to watch two days of action unfold on the tracker.Will Groupama hold off the fleet? Will CAMPER make it onto the podium? Find out by switching to the live tracker.Launch the race tracker hereand click on the LIVE button in the top left to 60-second updates.First Kiwi home?Kiwi sailors have a great tradition in the international grand prix blue water racing. Of the 66 crew on the six boats racing into Auckland this weekend, 20 are sailing to their homeland.The painful irony is that the current overall race leader Telefonica is the only boat in the without a Kiwi on board.So who will be the first New Zealander to cross the finish line? At the moment Groupama, with just one Kiwi crew member (Brad Marsh of Auckland), holds a commanding lead over the rest of the fleet on Leg 4 of the Race.But, as any sailor will remind you, a yacht race ain’t over until it’s over.The fleet of Volvo Open 70’s are currently spread out between 400 and 600 nautical miles from the finish line just off the Viaduct Basin in Auckland. As the Volvo fleet approach the top of New Zealand’s North Island, they are currently sailing into the teeth of a fresh easterly headwind. Once they pass Cape Reinga, the wind is forecast to veer to the southeast-once again bang on the nose. The cool, dense air coming off the southern ocean packs more punch per knot of speed than the moisture laden trade wind air up in the tropics. Seas become shorter and steeper as they close in on land.All this means that gear failure could become a factor after a long and punishing ocean passageWith seven Kiwis on board, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand are actually tied with Sanya for most Kiwi crew. Puma have three and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has two New Zealanders.So why is it that so many Kiwis rise to this level of professional yacht racing? With the ocean not more than a few hour’s drive from anywhere in the country, boating is one of the most popular recreational activities in the country. New Zealand’s sailing history dates back to the migration of the Polynesians across the Pacific and the subsequent colonization by Europeans, who arrived on tall sailing ships from the west. Until the early-20th century, much of New Zealand’s commerce moved by boats on the rivers and oceans around the country.Generations of New Zealanders have grown up sailing on Optimist and P-Class dinghies, later graduating to larger keel boats. Inspired by the exploits of New Zealand heroes such as Sir Peter Blake, many have continued yachting as a hobby, lifestyle or career.The keenly competitive yacht racing scene in New Zealand has honed the skills of our top yachties, causing them to be sought after as crew on yachts all over the world. As they say, it’s in the blood.Regardless of the outcome of the Volvo Ocean Race, there will be at least a few New Zealanders on the podium.