What you need to know about SailGP

The Christchurch leg of the SailGP gets under way on Lyttelton Harbour tomorrow. A record breaking crowd of up to 22,000 is expected over two days. 

Tickets are available for the Sunday. A map of the seating areas, lawns and fan zones can be found here.

Here’s what you need to know about the race:

WHAT: The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix

WHEN: Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24. The race village opens at 11.30am and the racing from 3pm to 4.30pm. The races will also be streamed live and on-demand at ThreeNow.


SHUTTLES: Official event shuttles will leave outside Te Pae on Oxford Tce. The first shuttle to the race village leaves at 11am, and return shuttles depart the venue from 4.30pm. These are free for all ticket holders and can be booked online.

There will also be a “Lyttelton Loop” shuttle that will drop people off outside Lyttelton Primary School on Oxford St so event goers can enjoy Lyttelton township before or after the races.

BUSES: The number 8 bus to Lyttelton will run as usual, and is available for all residents, however, it is expected to be very busy. All Metro buses and ferries will be free for ticket holders.

CARS: Roads in and around Lyttelton will be closed between 12pm and 6pm on race days. During this time, only emergency services, official event vehicles (buses and shuttles), taxis and vehicles with a clearly-displayed pass will be able to access Lyttelton via Tunnel Rd.

Sumner and Governors Bay roads will be operating under a one-way system, running out of Lyttelton. Vehicles can leave Lyttelton at any time.

TAXIS: Branded taxis will be able to travel through the road closures but rideshare services such as Uber will not.

FERRIES: SailGP will affect the Diamond Harbour ferry service. On Friday, March 22, the last ferry will leave Lyttelton at 12.50pm, and Diamond Harbour at 1.02pm. The ferry will resume from 5.45pm. On Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, the last ferry will depart Lyttelton at 1.20pm, Diamond Harbour at 1.32pm. Buses will replace cancelled sailings.

CYCLISTS: Those on two wheels will not be affected by the road closures.

BOATS: Arguably the best view in the house will be from the water. Those fortunate enough to own a boat can purchase a BYOB (Bring your own boat) flag to watch from the edge of the race course. Boats without a flag can watch from outside the exclusion zone.

PUBLIC VIEWING: You can watch it on the big screen at Riverside Cantina in central Christchurch from 2pm both days.

Inner harbour community access

Bays residents between Dyers Pass Road and Lyttelton will be eligible for access passes and will need them to access the tunnel from Christchurch. Roads serving bay residents outside this area will not have traffic management restrictions but will be patrolled for parking or congestion issues.

Access outside of restrictions

While there are no road closures or restrictions beyond Dyers Pass Road, there are measures in place to maintain traffic flow in the surrounding areas, including monitoring and enforcing parking restrictions and VMS sign boards for live updates on strategic access points.

Traffic management within Lyttelton

Once within Lyttelton, there will be a checkpoint on Godley Quay which will only allow permitted vehicles to the event site. Those walking to the event from the Lyttelton township can use a shared path from Lyttelton, down to Te Nukutai o Tapoa Naval Point.

Traffic management within Christchurch central

Traffic management will also be in place surrounding the city centre transport hub outside Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in order to facilitate safe pick up and drop off for official event shuttles that will be transporting ticket holders to Naval Point. Measures will be in place on Armagh Street and Colombo Street, from 10am – 7pm on 23 – 24 March.

Information about vehicle access passes

During the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch, Lyttelton residents are encouraged to stay home and enjoy the excitement unfolding on Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour but if you need to leave and re-enter the restricted access area during this time, you can do so with a vehicle access pass. Businesses that require passes for employees and/or contractors and suppliers will also be able to do so.

It is important to note that only locals who require access into Lyttelton on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March between the hours of 12pm - 6pm will require an access pass. If you do not need to travel from the city to access your home or workplace in Lyttelton during this time, you do not require a pass. All vehicles can leave Lyttelton at all times - no pass is required for this.

Similar to last year, affected addresses will be issued one pass via mail in a letter drop in early March. Households and businesses who wish to discuss unique requirements can email them to hello@sailgpnzl.com.

This vehicle access pass will allow access on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March. Please display the pass clearly on the windscreen of your vehicle to ensure traffic marshals can wave you through in a timely manner.

Please remember, traffic management measures are in place to mitigate unwanted impacts on the local community. As such, there will be no access passes issued for visiting friends and family, so we ask that you do not share your pass with those living outside the area if you plan to stay home. Parking in Lyttelton is extremely limited, so if you have friends coming over before the closures are in place at midday, please ensure you can accommodate their vehicles on your own property or they can access Lyttelton in a marked taxi or a local bus. 

Lyttelton open for business

SailGP will implement a shuttle running between the SailGP Race Stadium at Naval Point and Lyttelton township. This will enable SailGP ticket-holders to visit Lyttelton before or after racing if they wish, and can also be used by Lyttelton locals to get to and from the event site if they have a ticket.

Please note that at all times during the event weekend, non-residents will still be able to access Lyttelton via public buses (number 8) or clearly-marked taxis. Ubers (non-marked vehicles) will not be permitted through road closures. On-street parking during race weekend will be extremely limited, so if you have visitors coming to Lyttelton before midday, please ensure you can accommodate their vehicles on your property or encourage them to travel via bus or taxi.

Boat ramp closures

During the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch, Naval Point will be transformed into a vibrant event village, accompanied by a technical area for visiting teams and operations. As such, the Naval Point public boat ramp will be closed between 7 March – 30 March. This is to ensure health and safety and mitigate issues of congestion on a busy, working site.

Other closures to note are:

  • Windsurf ramps closed: 7 March – 30 March
  • Naval Point parking restrictions: from 19 February, and very limited between 4 – 30 March
  • Freedom Camping area closed: 4 March – 29 March

Ferry timetable changes

Regular passengers on the ferry should note that there will be some changes to the usual timetable around SailGP.

Friday, (March 22):

  • Last ferry departs Lyttelton at 1250, Diamond Harbour at 1302.
  • Ferry resumes at 1745.
  • Trips missed (departing Lyttelton): 1350, 1450, 1520, 1600, 1625, 1650, 1715.

Saturday & Sunday (March 23 & 24):

  • Last ferry departs Lyttelton at 1320, Diamond Harbour at 1332.
  • Ferry resumes at 1750.
  • Trips missed (departing Lyttelton): 1350, 1420, 1450, 1550, 1650.

TAB odds

Australia $2.90 New Zealand $3.25 Denmark $8 All other teams $11+


New Zealand: Peter Burling (driver), Blair Tuke (wing trimmer), Andy Maloney (flight controller), Liv Mackay (strategist), Josh Junior, Louis Sinclair, Marcus Hansen (grinders)

Australia: Tom Slingsby (driver), Kyle Langford (wing trimmer), Jason Waterhouse (flight controller), Nina Curtis (strategist), Kinley Fowler, Sam Newton (grinders), Ed Powys (reserve)

Canada: Phil Robertson (driver), Paul Campbell-James (wing trimmer), Billy Gooderham (flight controller), Annie Haegar (strategist), Tom Ramshaw, Jake Lilley, Jareese Finch (grinders)

Denmark: Nicolai Sehested (driver), Tom Johnson (wing trimmer), Rasmus Kostner (flight controller), Anne-Marie Rindom (strategist), Julius Hallstrom, Hans-Christian Rosendahl, Luke Payne (grinders)

France: Quentin Delapierre (driver), Kevin Peponnet (wing trimmer), Jason Saunders (flight controller), Manon Audinet (strategist), Matthieu Vandame, Timothe Lapauw, Olivier Herledant (grinders)

Germany: Erik Heil (driver), Stuart Bithell (wing trimmer), James Wierzbowski (flight controller), Anna Barth (strategist), Dan Morris, Jonathan Knottnerus-Meyer (grinders)

Great Britain: Giles Scott (driver), Iain Jensen (wing trimmer), Luke Parkinson (flight controller), Hannah Mills (strategist), Nick Hutton, Neil Hunter (grinders), Hannah Diamond (reserve strategist)

Spain: Diego Bontin (driver), Florian Trittel (wing trimmer), Joel Rodriguez (flight controller), Nicole van der Velden (strategist), Stewart Dodson, Bernardo Freitas (grinders), Joan Cardona (grinder/tactician)

Switzerland: Nathan Outteridge (driver), Will Ryan (wing trimmer), Nicolas Rolaz (flight controller), Laurane Mettraux (strategist), Jeremy Bachelin, Julien Rolaz, Elliot Merceron (grinders)

United States: Taylor Canfield (driver), Victor Diaz de Leon (wing trimmer), Leo Takahashi (flight controller), Mac Agnese (flight controller/grinder), Anna Weis (strategist/grinder), Mike Buckley (strategist), Peter Kinney, Ben Bardwell (grinders)