All eyes are looking ahead to the first ever ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch after organizers confirmed the sold-out event will go ahead next month.
The two day racing spectacle will see the fleet go head to head as planned on Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour, with live racing taking place from 3:00pm - 4.30pm NZDT on 18 & 19 March.
The announcement comes after a major weather event at SailGP's last event caused significant damage to the wing sails and at least one F50.
But, after a thorough inspection, SailGP is confident that at least eight boats will be on the start line in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, with all efforts going into trying to secure the full nine-boat fleet.
The damaged wings are currently en route to Lyttelton, where they will undergo a full review and repair by the SailGP Tech Team. Further updates will be made when they become available.
As the tenth event of Season 3, Christchurch will be now or never for mid-fleet teams to move up the congested leaderboard. There are currently just 12 points separating Peter Burling’s New Zealand in second and Jimmy Spithill’s United States in sixth.
After sealing a hat-trick of race wins in Sydney, France moved back into third on the overall Championship leaderboard and is now just one-point away from the Kiwis.
Despite slipping down into fourth, Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team remains in hot pursuit, and is just two points behind the French. Two-time defending champions Australia meanwhile has a clear 12-point lead on New Zealand at the top of the leaderboard.
With all hands on deck attending to the repairs, organizers have decided to cancel a limited second release of tickets to the currently sold out event initially announced to go on sale on February 23.
Following the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch, SailGP will proceed to San Francisco for the winner-takes-all SailGP Season 3 Grand Final.