New Zealand Ocean Racing has advised that it has formally withdrawn its entry to The Ocean Race 2022/2023.
Headed by New Zealand sailor and alumni of The Ocean Race, Bianca Cook, New Zealand Ocean Racing had been working to compete in the V065 class of the famed round the world race. Unfortunately, the unavoidable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, together with a lack of sponsorship, has made continuing with the campaign untenable.
“This is not a decision we ever wanted to have to make. We’re devastated.” says Cook. “We have always been realistic about what we needed to achieve to get us to the start line in 2022, and sadly we just couldn’t make that happen. The effects of Covid-19 and the withdrawal of Auckland as a race stopover have made it impossible – despite our best efforts – to get to Alicante for the Race.”
NZ Ocean Racing had brought together a talented team of sailors, including some of New Zealand’s best up and coming sailors, and had been fortunate to learn from many veterans of the race. “An enormous amount of effort has gone into this campaign over the past three years, and we are hugely grateful to all who have supported and encouraged us along the way,” says Cook. “We would especially like to thank Daryl Wislang and Tony Rae for seeing an opportunity and really driving forward with it.”
“Although this news is a blow for New Zealand sailing, we hope that the end of our campaign for this next edition of TOR does not discourage the next generation of young sailors hoping to get into offshore racing,” says Cook. “We are hopeful that many of our team members will be snapped up by other competing teams.”
The plan for the NZ Ocean Racing VO65 boat is to sell it on to another team who is able to make the start line of the race.
In a campaign like this, there are many people to thank. In particular the team would like to acknowledge the significant work and contributions of:
Viaduct Harbour, Yachting Developments, VMG Clothing, CODE ZERO, Westpac NZ, RigPro, Southern Spars, Hyundai NZ, Masfen Foundation, Orams Marine, KZ Racefurlers