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Dalts and the Race

 

 

“I’m Grant Dalton. I’m MD at Emirates Team New Zealand,” not that he needs any introduction.

 

After more than 20 years with ocean racing and the face of the Emirates Team NZ campaign, he is instantly recognizable.

 

At the CAMPER/Emirates Team New Zealand base with Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Dalton explained his relationship with Knut and how the Race came back to Auckland after a ten year absence.

 

“We come from the same place basically. I’ve said in a number of interviews over the last few years, we used to - still do - get out of bed in the morning, go out and raise the money to build our boats and skipper them and that’s how we got started. We’ve known each other for a really, really long time.”

 

When ETNZ decided they wanted to be involved with the Race, the first person Grant contacted was Knut Frostad,

 

“We’d like to do it, can you help?" he said. "What you now see (at the CAMPER base) and this Stopover is a direct result of the relationship because Knut sees what we see. The Round the World race used to be -when it was Whitbread then Volvo - a race from England to NZ and I can’t even remember what happened after that! This was the traditional home and it was a race for Kiwis to get home. Then you kind of wandered your way back to England over a period of time.”

 

Dalton believes the biggest strength of the Ocean Race is actually its heritage and the return to Auckland allows the longest standing, toughest Race to retain this heritage.

 

“So it developed from that phone call and to you, mate, welcome home. We Aucklanders and New Zealanders are just so proud,” said Dalton.

 

“I think the development that’s been done around here started with America's Cup but continued with the Rugby World Cup. This area has been revitalized and you couldn’t get across this bridge (the pedestrian bridge to Te Wero Island) day or night during the RWC. It was full of people. So the Viaduct has become a destination again whereas it fell off a lot after the Cup went to that famous seafaring nation Switzerland. I think it will pump, really pump this weekend and next week. It’s just amazing that the Race is coming back. I couldn’t be more pleased. So thanks, mate.”

 

Let the party begin…

 

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