New Zealand SailGP cancelled

Published on August 16th, 2021

After having to cancel its second season in 2020, the SailGP global sports league was hopeful the pandemic had eased enough for a nine event schedule in 2021. So much for that.

After releasing its preliminary second season schedule in January 2021, and later adding an Australian event, the New Zealand government has now denied MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) facilities for the planned F50 catamaran racing to be held in enter Christchurch on January 29-30, 2022.

With eight international teams from three continents, and more than 150 personnel among competitors and staff, Kiwi officials intend to keep its international border closed until early 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thus cancelling New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch.

Having already completed events in Bermuda, Italy, and Great Britain, season one winner Australia led by Tom Slingsby is tied with Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain team as the field enters the next SailGP event in Denmark on August 20-21.

As for the remaining events in France, Spain, Australia, and the USA, the Sydney stop in December could be in doubt with the region in the middle of another rise of COVID-19 cases.

Health restrictions currently for Sydney include a Stay at Home order for residents with Australia’s borders closed for international travel.

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SailGP Season Championship (after 3 events)
1. Australia, 22 pts
2. Great Britain, 22 pts
3. France, 21 pts
4. United States, 19 pts
5. Japan, 19 pts
6. Spain, 19 pts
7. Denmark, 17 pts
8. New Zealand, 17 pts

Format for SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three races on each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The opening five fleet races involve every team.
• The final match race pits the three highest ranking teams against each other to be crowned event champion.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.

SailGP Season 2 Schedule*
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix – Andalusia
December 17-18, 2021 – Australia Grand Prix – Sydney
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch (CANCELLED)
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change

2021-22 Teams, Helm
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternate – Paul Goodison)
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternate – Arnaud Psarofaghis)
Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternate – Phil Robertson)
United States, Jimmy Spithill


Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.

Source: SailGP

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