Boats still here but Village closed
The six competing boats in the Volvo Ocean Race are still moored in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour but the Race Village is now closed as preparations intensify for the effects of cyclone Pam, expected later Sunday and tomorrow.
Concerned about the damaging effects on the race boats of the monster storm brushing New Zealand’s east Coast, organisers have yet to announce a firm time for restarting the next leg to Itajai, Brazil. Tuesday afternoon is the probable time for the start gun but a delay until Wednesday is possible.
Today’s empty pavements and crews rushing to pack containers on Te Wero island are a sharp contrast to Saturday’s picture perfect weather and a record tally of more than 59,000 visitors enjoying the pop-up attractions in the Village and viewing the in-port racing.
Pam has been downgraded to a tropical storm but significant damage is still predicted along the east coast of the North Island and today as winds began to build boat owners were doubling their mooring lines at the Viaduct Basin.
“As we are dealing with a severe and extreme weather scenario the race organiser reserves the right to change the timing of any sailing, racing or event at any time if that should be required,” said Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.