The start of Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race will get away at 2.00pm, local time in Auckland, New Zealand.
Two hours before the start, fans are already staking out vantage points around both sides of the Waitemata Harbour looking forward to what should be a stunning spectacle.
Although the breeze will be against the fleet as they head down the Waitemata Harbour, it will nevertheless provide a great sight against the backdrop of Auckland City and the North Shore.
Most spectators are expected to be on Devonport’s North Head which is a traditional turning and vantage point for the Volvo Ocean Race and its predecessor the Whitbread Round the World Race.
Conditions on the harbour are expected to make for great sailing, particularly as the fleet do a fast return lap up the harbour under reaching sails when they should be matching the windspeed of close to 20kts.
Once the exit the flat waters of the Waitemata Harbour, they will get a wet awakening once they exit the Hauraki Gulf with winds already reported as averaging 35kts, gusting over 40kts in the outer islands of the Hauraki Gulf. The routing is much the same as reported earlier with a respite once the boats reach East Cape around noon on Monday and he breeze eases somewhat.
For the routing and expected conditions click here
by Richard Gladwell