NZ secures four seasons of global sailing race

New Zealand has secured a four year deal to bring the new high-tech global sailing competition SailGP to our shores.

Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed Lyttelton Harbour in Christchurch will host the first Sail Grand Prix season ever held in New Zealand.  This will be part of Season Three, to be held across ten countries during 2022-23. Auckland and Christchurch will then host alternate races in following seasons.

“SailGP is one of the most exciting sailing races on the global sports calendar. We are delighted to win hosting rights for seasons three to six over the next four years,” said Stuart Nash.

“We can’t wait to see the fleet of hydro-foiling F50 catamarans in action here. There is keen international competition to be part of this event, and the selection of Lyttelton Harbour in Christchurch and Auckland is testament to our reputation for successfully hosting world-class sporting events.

“SailGP is still a comparatively new event but has strong Kiwi connections. New Zealand’s team is headed by Olympic and America’s Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. America’s Cup legends Sir Russell Coutts, Larry Ellison and Jimmy Spithill are involved in the global competition.

“SailGP has worked closely with government, ChristchurchNZ and Auckland Unlimited to secure SailGP for this four year run. This partnership has been vital to get New Zealand onto the global SailGP circuit.

“I have approved government investment of up to $5.4 million over four years. MBIE, which administers the Major Events Fund, is now working through the investment agreement with SailGP. We are pleased to see the event is also supported by both the Christchurch and Auckland agencies.

“The races will bring significant economic benefits and opportunities to celebrate our unique culture on the global stage. The stunning Whakaraupo Lyttelton Harbour in Ōtautahi Christchurch and the Hauraki Gulf in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will allow us to showcase the racing up-close, and are also a brilliant opportunity to promote our tourism industry.

“SailGP has a strong environmental focus and its emphasis on diversity and inclusivity through its Women's Pathway Program align strongly with our priorities. We look forward to working with organisers to finalise contractual arrangements to bring these events to life,” said Stuart Nash.

Today’s announcement coincides with the release of SailGP’s Season 3 calendar which so far includes races in Bermuda, USA, UK, Denmark, France, Spain and Dubai.