The new-look Volvo Ocean Race trophy will go on show in New Zealand for the first time this month, giving locals a rare chance to catch a glimpse of the coveted silverware.
Just like the Olympic Games, there is no prize money on offer in the Volvo Ocean Race, just the trophy and the glory of winning.
It will be a visual reminder of exactly what is up for grabs in the nine-month, 39,000 nautical mile challenge. Could the largely New Zealand crewed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand be grasping the trophy when the yachts cross the finish line at Galway, Ireland in July next year? Or could Kiwi skipper Mike Sanderson spring a surprise and lead Team Sanya to victory?
The striking nine kg piece of silverware has immortalised sailing’s champions, with the name of the winning boat and skipper from the previous 10 races engraved on the wave shaped rings.
An 11th ring atop the 70 cm trophy remains bare, with the winner of the 2011-12 edition of the world’s longest and toughest professional sailing race to be added to the roll call of honour.
The trophy, which is made of aluminium and silver plate, will be on display at the Auckland International Boat Show in the Viaduct Harbour from September 15-18. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is due to arrive in Auckland at the end of Leg 4 from Sanya, China, on March 8, 2012. The In-Port Race will be on March 17. Leg 5 to Itajaí will start on March 18.
The crew on board CAMPER includes seven New Zealanders: Stu Bannatyne, Daryl Wislang, Tony Rae, Rob Salthouse, Adam Minoprio, Andrew McLean and Hamish Hooper. New Zealand sailing legend and six-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Grant Dalton will lead the team as CEO.