New Zealand driver Peter Burling has reacted to the ‘disappointing’ racing cancellation on the opening day of Christchurch and thanked SailGP’s passionate Kiwi fans for their support.

Racing was cancelled on the opening day of the event due to prolonged dolphin activity in the racecourse area.

Season 4 // Peter Burling at Christchurch press conference

Despite this, Burling’s home Kiwi team ‘did a few light laps up and down the grandstands’ to ‘see the support we were getting’. “Thank you to [those fans], hopefully we can get racing tomorrow and put on an awesome show,” he said.

SailGP’s marine mammal plan demands racing is stopped when a dolphin is sighted near the racecourse. Racing will not resume until at least 20 minutes after the animal was last seen.


“We’re signed up to looking after the marine life everywhere we go - there’s a policy in place and the dolphins just hung out in our start line area the whole day,” Burling said.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, which forecasts top end conditions, Burling remained upbeat.


“It worked out pretty well for us last time we had a one day event in Copenhagen (Season 3, New Zealand won the event) so hopefully we can put on a show like that again.”

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch continues on Sunday, March 24.