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The Race Within the Race

 

 

High intensity competition featured at Auckland’s Volvo Ocean Race Village this morning as the six boats in the Volvo Race ocean leg from Sanya to Auckland fought for every advantage in light air off Whangarei’s Marsden Point.

 

Four teams from regional high schools and four from Auckland boat building companies raced to build small seaworthy craft in just two hours before competing on the waters of the Viaduct Basin.

 

With the close-packed Volvo fleet not expected to finish off Auckland’s Princes Wharf until this evening the boat builders took over the race pit area at the Viaduct Event Centre, working under the spidery six-metre high boat stands awaiting the racers’ haul out on Sunday night.

 

High school students built pram dinghies suitable for sailing, rowing or outboard power while the professionals produced small catamarans with each team contributing its own designs for crossarms and rigs.

 

The starting gun fired at 10:00 am and for the next 120 minutes building teams worked feverishly to assemble boats from supplied plywood flat panels. The rules called for the finished boats to be able to carry two crew members and be capable of paddle, sail and outboard power.

 

Organised by the New Zealand Marine Industries Association, the event was first held in 2001.

 

The eventual winner of the event will be judged on team presentation and support, on innovation and developments, on worksite safety and cleanliness, the best-built boat and on on-the-water performance.

 

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