Volvo Ocean Race: No go for Emirates Team New Zealand
Published on May 2nd, 2014
(May 2, 2014) – The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, which starts October 4 in Alicante, Spain, looks to be starting without a New Zealand team. Organizers hoped for the return involvement of Emirates Team New Zealand, but the team announced today that it would not be competing in the next Volvo Ocean Race.
The Kiwi team had competed in the 2011-12 edition as CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ, finishing second with skipper Chris Nicholson. That race route had returned to Auckland, after being absent for a decade, and it proved popular with media and visitors numbers.
The 2014-15 race will again have an Auckland stopover, but this time quite possibly without a local team competing.
There are presently five entered teams that have received their new Volvo Ocean 65 one design boat, with race organizers expecting seven teams to be on the start line. With funding at issue, the Kiwis had worked hard with people representing the Spanish interests and with the Volvo Ocean Race management to get an entry to the start line.
“In the end, time was against us,” explained New Zealand team leader Grant Dalton. “Every passing day magnified the impact that preparations for a round-the-world race would have on Emirates Team New Zealand’s other operations.”
New Zealand team leader Grant Dalton had previously indicated they would need a deadline of early May to have a team up and running, and now was not convinced it could mount a successful challenge in the time available.
“The team exists to win the America’s Cup. With the imminent announcement of the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup, it’s time for us to withdraw reluctantly from any consideration of participation in the Volvo Ocean race.”
Race organizers can accommodate two more teams, with boat #6 and #7 completed and ready for painting. The last date to enter is June 30th, but race rules reserve the right to extend the deadline.
Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race starts October 4 and will take the fleet to 11 cities in 11 countries – Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France and Sweden – and will require the teams to cover 38,739 nautical miles. It will be the first edition using the new one design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats. Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html