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Scuttlebutt: NYC Volvo Stop Over

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Martha Parker of Team One Newport is handling the on-site merchandise for the Volvo Ocean Race at the New York stop over, and provides the following observations as the fleet arrive in New York Harbor. Photos by Jon Nash.

(Tuesday, May 9, 2006) At 4:11am this morning, my cell phone rang with a text message; it was Tracey from ABN Amro telling me that the Black boat was in and she had slept through the last text update the hour before. I quickly donned my layers and foul weather gear to brave the cold Spring morning in Manhattan. Yes, it was chilly so I wasn't going to take a chance. I walked over to North Cove Marina where the ABN Amro team was helping the Black Boat (ABN Amro One) tie up to the one and only dock set up for the Volvo 70's. Skipper Moose Sanderson was being interviewed and the crew looked a little tired but happy to be in! They were ready for some good hot food!

Three hours later in the daylight, Pirate's of the Caribbean came tacking up NY Harbor from the Statue of Liberty in all her glory. There were definitely more people watching and it was exciting with four teams watching and waiting for their boats to finish. There were contingencies of team jackets milling on the stone pier at North Cove, plus the NY locals were now out for their morning runs or bike rides to work all wondering what was going on. However, there were not the big throngs of people that I had hoped to see.

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The real thrill of the day (for me) was going up in a chopper with photographer Jon Nash who was shooting the last two boats arriving. We flew over the Verrazano Bridge and followed ABN Amro Two into the finish. What a treat to see the boats and NY Harbor from that view.

The site in NYC is wonderful for the stop over. There is great public access and the boats are tied stern in along the north wall of the marina. The Volvo organizers have done a terrific job of showing the public what can be done to promote the sport of sailing and make the general public aware of the Volvo Ocean Race. There are big displays describing the race, the boats, and the teams. They have entertainment going on throughout the day and there is a lively, festive feeling.

Now if only the weather would cooperate; it has been overcast and chilly. The people who have come to the Team One Newport Official Merchandising Tent are all very enthusiastic about the race stopping here and having the chance to view the whole scene. It is disappointing that there are not larger crowds for a city this size, but hopefully the start of Leg 7 to Portsmouth on Thursday will provide a grand NY send-off! - Martha Parker, Team One Newport


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