Organisers of the America's Cup have been forced to postpone the opening races as Auckland goes into another 'level 3' lockdown

An announcement by the organisers of the America’s Cup (America’s Cup Event Ltd) on Sunday 28th February has officially postponed the opening weekend of racing for the America’s Cup Match due to the event host city, Auckland going into a ‘Level 3’ Covid-19 lockdown.

The announcement reads:

In light of the latest Auckland COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown put in place by the Government from 6am this morning for the next 7 days, America’s Cup Event Ltd has postponed the first weekend of racing on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of March.

The purpose of this early decision is to provide at least some certainty in planning for all event stakeholders with regard to next weekend initially.

America’s Cup Event Ltd Chair, Tina Symmans said, “ACE has always said that it wishes to hold as much of the racing under Level 1 restrictions as possible. But to be prudent, ACE will apply for an exemption to race under Level 3 restrictions so as to keep as many options open as possible. However, racing will not occur before at least Wednesday 10th March.”

In the meantime, ACE will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities over the next few days as this latest COVID situation unfolds.

“We need to understand all likely scenarios so that an updated racing schedule can be put in place whilst also ensuring the regulatory requirements are met,” concluded Symmans.

This latest lockdown is the second occasion racing in the event has been disrupted due to Covid-19 measures. The Prada Cup Final, the challenger selection series for the America’s Cup was also affected.

For the Prada Cup Final, the proposed postponement to the racing caused a significant rift between teams, with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (the eventual winner of the series) insisting they felt racing could go ahead under level 3 restrictions and the event organisers preferring to postpone in order to make for a better visual spectacle.

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