Grant Dalton’s plan to take on the world in 2011 is announced

The clue was in the stopover announcement a few days previously. In revealing that Auckland would host one of the stopovers in the next Volvo Ocean Race which starts from Alicante in 2011, the odds were that there would be a Kiwi team involved in the next race.

And when it comes to Kiwi sailing teams, there is only one with the clout to take on the world, Emirates Team New Zealand. Today, (Monday 12 April), the confirmation came that Grant Dalton’s team would be racing around the world. The release also confirmed that the team’s commercial partner would be Camper, a Spanish-based international footwear brand.

“There is some certainty in the America’s Cup following BMW Oracle Racing’s defeat of Alinghi,” explained Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton. “It’s apparent that with the timing of the America’s Cup, either 2013 or 2014, ETNZ can comfortably integrate a Volvo campaign into its operations.

“Our objective was always to diversify, once the team had re-established its credentials, as a means of keeping our people busy, focused and creative.

“With Louis Vuitton, the team started the Louis Vuitton Trophy, Dean Barker and the team campaigned successfully on the Audi MedCup TP52 circuit last year and now we have a Volvo Ocean Race campaign to organise from scratch.

“The team has no shortage of experience with the Volvo Ocean Race and the Whitbread before it. It’s no secret that I have never lost my enthusiasm for racing around the world.”

“The Volvo project instantly energises our team, allows our designers and engineers to get going and in Camper we have found a great partner. They are a family company with family values and a culture that fits very well with Emirates Team New Zealand and our family of sponsors.”

So that’s the first of what is rumoured to be two America’s Cup teams that will be taking part in the 2011 Volvo Ocean Race. Perhaps the clue for the second also lies in a venue?