YACHTING

Festival of sailing in full swing

Tuesday 9 March 2010, 3:40PM
By Auckland City Council
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AUCKLAND

The Auckland Festival of Sailing has gotten off to a great start, with the Omega Auckland Match Racing Regatta proving to be fantastic spectacle featuring past, present and future yachting stars battling it out on the Waitemata.

There’s plenty more action to come, with two further prestigious international sailing events to look forward to this month during the Auckland Festival of Sailing.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy kicks off today, followed by the BMW Sailing Cup World Final, which begins on 22 March.

All Aucklanders can experience the thrill of this exciting festival – the biggest sailing event since Auckland hosted the America’s Cup in 2003.

Get down to Market Square in the Viaduct Harbour during the next few weeks as the festival comes to life on shore at the Louis Vuitton Trophy event village, in a spectacle of colour and entertainment.

Every day in the village, a jumbo video screen will display live TV, plus 3-D Virtual Eye tracking from the race course, along with expert commentary and analysis.

There will be grinder winches like those on the Cup boats for visitors to test their strength and grinding technique, as well as knot tying demonstrations, face painting, teams information, a results board, plus the latest results from on the water.

See the big boats up close as they dock right outside O’Hagans bar each night after a hectic day on the harbour, and mix and meet some of the world’s best sailors and take part in the daily press conference each evening after the racing finishes.

More maritime-themed entertainment, activities and attractions will pack out the space during the weekend of the 13 and 14 March, including Cirque de Salon, featuring live performance art for the public, in sailing theme.

Other key Festival of Sailing activities include:

• Free public spectator boat trips running during the two key weekends of the Auckland Festival of Sailing on 13 and 14 and 20 and 21 March, courtesy of Auckland City Council. This once in a lifetime opportunity is limited to the first 120 people per sailing, with two sailings on each day at 9.30am and 1.30pm. Registrations for a place onboard Olympic Spirit are first come, first served, and open one hour before each sailing time at the departure location, in front of Kermadec bar and restaurant, Viaduct Harbour. Conditions apply.
 
• The Auckland International Boat Show at the Viaduct Harbour from this Thursday to Sunday, 11 to 14 March. Come down and see why Auckland’s marine industry is world-renowned.

• A special offer at the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum where, for the month of March, Auckland region residents can visit the museum galleries for just $5 per adult, with free admission for accompanying children aged 14 years or under. (Proof of Auckland residency required). Discover how our region’s love affair with sailing began.

Auckland Festival of Sailing is sponsored by Auckland City Council, Tourism Auckland and AucklandPlus. Tune into the racing action live on 103FM.

ENDS

Auckland Festival of Sailing includes three international sailing regattas:
Omega Auckland Match Racing Regatta | 3-6 March
With a mix of America’s Cup experience and rising young talent, some of the world’s top international match race teams will battle it out on the Waitemata Harbour. The regatta will take place off the Westhaven breakwater where spectators can watch the action.

Louis Vuitton Trophy | 9-21 March
Eight of the world’s best sailing teams will go head-to-head aboard America’s Cup yachts on inshore courses, making North Head a natural grandstand to watch the big boats. The heart of the Viaduct Harbour will transform into the Louis Vuitton Trophy Village, with a big screen to keep those on land in tune with the action.

BMW Sailing Cup World Final | 22-25 March
The BMW Sailing Cup is the largest and most prestigious amateur international title for keelboat sailors. Crews compete in national regattas in their home countries to progress to the BMW Sailing Cup World Final. Being held in Auckland for the first time, it’s the climax of this year’s Auckland Festival of Sailing.

And also features:
Auckland International Boat Show | 11-14 March
See hundreds of high-class, power, sail, new, used, private, charter and classic vessels on the specially constructed floating marina joining Te Wero Island and the Viaduct Harbour. The latest marine engines, electronics and accessories are also on display.

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Auckland City Council
Tourism Auckland
AucklandPlus