Traditionally the New Zealand stopover in the Round the World yachting Race sees a big shake up in the crews involved. It is no different this time, with one of the biggest names in American sailing joining the Volvo Ocean Race.
Paul Cayard skippered EF Language to victory in the last round the world race, but after being sidelined by Larry Ellison, the billionaire boss of the Oracle Racing America's Cup syndicate, he was left kicking his heels in California.
But not for much longer, as he is on his way to New Zealand to join another Round the World veteran Grant Dalton, as watch leader aboard Amer Sports One for the 12 thousand kilometer fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Auckland to Rio.
Cayard, who had also been linked with the skipper's position on Assa Abloy, replaces another Californian, Dee Smith, who has had to return to the United States for an operation on his injured shoulder.
And Cayard is just one of the changes in the traditional Auckland Merry-go-round (boat crew changes for the next leg). Amer Sports Too has two new faces in Emma Richards and Miranda Merron from the Britain, SEB's Matt Humphries has resigned, and is replaced by David Rolfe, who had quit the boat himself in Sydney, while Assa Abloy continues to search for a replacement for U.S. tactician Chris Larson.