NZ SailGP Christchurch event cancelled

Photography by: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP


The SailGP round in NZ this summer has been canned after failing to gain MIQ facilities for the team

Plans to host the SailGP Christchurch event in January 2022 have been cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, SailGP has confirmed.

The decision comes after SailGP’s application for access to Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) facilities for its teams and staff to enter New Zealand ahead of the inaugural event was declined by the New Zealand Government.

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In August, the organisers announced that the Government had refused its application, but they were in talks in the hope the event may still proceed.

The event was scheduled to be held from 29 to 30 January 2022 and would have been the penultimate SailGP event prior to the season finale planned to be hosted in San Francisco in March 2022.

"ChristchurchNZ and SailGP worked hard to bring SailGP racing to Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour," said.

"The event is world-class and would have delivered significant benefits to Christchurch and New Zealand, and we are naturally disappointed that the January 2022 fixture has had to be cancelled due to issues beyond either of our control."

She added that they were now working to negotiate a future partnership so the benefits to Ōtautahi Christchurch of hosting SailGP are "delayed rather than lost".

"We are confident that SailGP is supportive of bringing the event to Christchurch in future seasons."

SailGP involves national teams in 50-foot foiling catamarans, similar to those used in the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda.

Manaia Rehu, chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rapaki, also said they were "disappointed".

"We were honoured to have the event on Whakaraupō and the opportunity to showcase our Ngai Tahu and Rapaki people through our art, food, music, kapa haka, storytelling, and our environmental and treaty partnerships with Live Ocean, Maui 63, Coastal People – Southern Skies, and Whaka ora – Healthy Harbour to better protect the realm of Takaroa.

"We remain fully committed to the event and look forward to potentially hosting SailGP on Whakaraupō in future seasons and sharing this beautiful place we all call home, with the world."

Christchurch City Council head of parks, Andrew Rutledge, said contractor Fulton Hogan is back working at Naval Point, following a short halt due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"Phase one of the Naval Point-Te Nukutai o Tapoa Development Plan is still on track to be completed by the end of November this year. While we are very pleased to hear that SailGP racing may come to Whakaraupō at a later date, we know the many groups that regularly use the area will be happy to have these first-stage improvements finished in time for this summer."

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