The full, nine-strong flying F50 fleet is set to compete on the waters of Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour this weekend following an intense repair program.
It comes after a severe weather incident caused significant damage to the fleet’s wing sails and the Canada F50 after the first day of racing in Sydney.
Since then, the SailGP Tech Team has been working flat out to repair the fleet in time for the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch this weekend.
The repair program was a joint effort by the SailGP Tech Team, which has been repairing the Canada F50 and wings on the ground in Lyttelton, and SailGP Technologies in Warkworth.
The result is nine complete boats ready to race this weekend with the 18m or 24m wing configuration. The 29m wing configuration remains unavailable while further repairs take place.
Speaking about the repair effort, SailGP Technologies managing director Dave Ridley said the adversity of Sydney had ‘brought the team closer together’.
“We’ve bonded around a common goal and it’s driven everyone to help out,” he said. “The outcome is that nine boats will be racing here, which really shows the strength of SailGP as a company.”
He added that it was ‘incredible’ for the company to rebound from ‘such a setback’ and be at ‘almost 100% capacity only a month later’.
SailGP CEO Russell Coutts added: "The fact that we have all nine F50s sailing in Lyttelton is a testament to the incredible team effort by our Tech Team, both on the ground and at SailGP Technologies. They’re the backbone of SailGP and it’s thanks to them we’re able to deliver a full event here in New Zealand."
The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch takes place on March 18 & 19 on Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbor.