SailGP set to confirm new event in Lyttelton Harbour

SailGP teams competing during the Sydney event earlier this year. Photo: Getty Images
SailGP teams competing during the Sydney event earlier this year. Photo: Getty Images
Christchurch is on the cusp of signing a deal with SailGP to bring the yachting series to Lyttelton Harbour in January 2022.

The event would be a coup for the city with a global broadcast audience estimated at 256 million viewers.

Olympic gold medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will lead the New Zealand entry in catamarans similar to those raced in the previous America's Cup.

The pair remain fully committed to their defense of the America's Cup with Team New Zealand and winning another gold medal at the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games.

18 Olympians with a total of 16 medals will be on the water in the spectator-friendly harbour with the boats capable of speeds in excess of 50 knots.

Christchurch NZ general manager Loren Heaphy and sources linked to SailGP and billionaire Oracle owner Larry Ellison say details are being finalised and contracts are yet to be signed.

The 2020 season was set to feature seven teams at five venues by the Covid-19 outbreak meant the only event was the Sydney round in February.

The Australian team, led by Tom Slingsby, won the inaugural competition was in 2019.

Earlier this year, Burling and Tuke were confirmed as co-CEO's of the New Zealand team for the 2021 season. Next year's schedule is set to begin in San Francisco in April.

"We are really proud to represent Aotearoa in what is shaping up to be one of our sport's premier events," Burling said in August.

"SailGP provides an annual platform for professional, high-performance sailing on the global stage, which strongly complements our existing America's Cup and Olympic commitments. We will bring a competitive team to the championship and look forward to building a collective of partners that align with our sporting and environmental values."

 

 

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