New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, will host a pit stop for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2006

Glenn Bourke, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, joined Mayor Kerry Prendergast, Wellington City Council, and Stephen Moir, Commodore of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (RPNYC), to announce that New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, will host a pit stop for the Volvo Ocean Race from 17-19 February 2006. Although the event has a long association with New Zealand, this will be the first time that the race has visited Wellington.

The Volvo fleet will race from Melbourne in the third leg of the event, arriving in Wellington for a pit stop of between 24 and 48 hours. The fourth leg of the race to Rio de Janeiro, will be a fleet restart on either February 18 or 19, depending on the time of arrival in Wellington.

The only other scheduled pit stop during the 2005-06 race will be New York in May 2006. The pit stop concept was first introduced to the Volvo Ocean Race in Hobart during the 2001-02 event when the fleet took part in the gruelling Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

“This is the world’s premier ocean race and Wellington has one of the most exciting positions geographically for ocean racing. Hosting the Volvo Ocean Race fleet here is confirmation of that – it literally puts us on the global ocean racing map,” said Mr Moir.

Glenn Bourke added: “It’s great to be including Wellington as a new port to the Volvo Ocean Race itinerary, and it will be a pleasure to bring the competition to such an event-friendly city. The Volvo Ocean Race has always been well supported by New Zealanders and we are very pleased to have the first pit stop of the event in the southern hemisphere.”

Wellington Mayor, Kerry Prendergast, said the event would bring global media attention to Wellington. “The international media coverage that this event attracts will be fantastic for Wellington’s global profile. Wellington is now building a reputation as an ocean racing port of the highest standing and we are looking forward to giving the Volvo Ocean Race a very warm welcome when they arrive.”