A new level 3 lockdown in Auckland puts the start of the prestigious 13-race match on pause
| 2 March 2021
The opening weekend of racing in the upcoming America’s Cup has been postponed, after Auckland’s latest level 3 lockdown was put in place from 6am on Sunday, February 28 for seven days.
In level 3 of New Zealand’s lockdown system, individuals are expected to stay at home if they can, and gatherings are not permitted.
The first weekend of racing was due to occur on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th March. In a statement, organisers America’s Cup Event Ltd (ACE) said the decision was made to “provide at least some certainty, in planning for all event stakeholders with regard to next weekend initially”.
ACE says it will liaise closely with the New Zealand government and local authorities as the situation unfolds, to establish the next steps and confirm a schedule for the rest of the races. The first race will not take place before Wednesday, March 10.
In a statement, 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.
“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.