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Ōtautahi Christchurch confirmed to host SailGP Season 2 penultimate event

Credit: David Gray for SailGP

SailGP today announced the selection of Ōtautahi Christchurch as a host city for the global league’s second season in a massive coup for the city and for sailing in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The first time a SailGP event is held in the country, the New Zealand Grand Prix will take place on Whakaraupō (Lyttelton Harbour) on January 29-30, 2022, serving as the penultimate grand prix of the season before the Season 2 grand final in San Francisco in March. 

The event will feature eight national teams, including the league’s newest entry – New Zealand. Led by co-CEOs Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, both reigning Olympic and America’s Cup champions, the Kiwi team will be an instant favourite in its debut season.  

Sail GP
Credit: David Gray for SailGP


In Season 1,
SailGP events delivered an average direct economic impact to host cities of NZD$32 million and were broadcast to a total global audience of 256 million. 

The New Zealand Grand Prix will also provide a valuable chance for community and iwi engagement, and thrilling spectator opportunities along the shores of Lyttelton Harbour. 

Aotearoa New Zealand is a proud sailing nation and Ōtautahi Christchurch has a proud sporting heritage, so we expect Lyttelton Harbour will deliver fantastic conditions and a very warm welcome to all teams and visiting fans.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts

What is SailGP?


SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said:
“Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s most exciting venues. The positioning of the race course is quite similar to the layout of our event in San Francisco, which should provide spectacular viewing for our spectators. 

Surrounded by the natural beauty of Lyttelton Harbour, we expect this event will draw passionate spectators from across the country and Australia, provided the COVID-19 situation improves as we hope it will.  

"Aotearoa New Zealand is a proud sailing nation and Ōtautahi Christchurch has a proud sporting heritage, so we expect Lyttelton Harbour will deliver fantastic conditions and a very warm welcome to all teams and visiting fans."


Credit: Beau Outteridge for SailGP

We are confident SailGP will boost our reputation as a city with incredible outdoor assets, the infrastructure and capability to hold major events, and a dedicated public who will no doubt get behind this incredible grand prix.

Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination and Attraction

Peter Burling, New Zealand SailGP team co-CEO, said: “We are proud to represent New Zealand and there is nothing better than competing on home waters supported by our country’s sports fans, so we are stoked to bring the global event to Christchurch.  

“We can’t wait to start racing in SailGP and sharing our Live Ocean conservation message along the way, which we know fans here in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world will get behind.” 

Manaia Rehu, chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, said: “We are honoured to have the event on Whakaraupō and to be representatives of Māori culture to a global audience.” 

Whakaraupō is a special part of our identity and as kaitiaki, guardians, of this beautiful place, we are pleased to welcome the world to our backyard. 

 


Credit: Eloi Stichelbaut for SailGP 

Whakaraupō is a special part of our identity and as kaitiaki, guardians, of this beautiful place, we are pleased to welcome the world to our backyard.

Manaia Rehu, chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke

Loren Heaphy, ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination and Attraction, said SailGP represented a unique and unmissable opportunity for the city: “This is an entirely different event to those we typically attract to Christchurch, and we jumped at the opportunity to bid to host SailGP.  

We are a city of sport and innovation, and SailGP combines these in a way only a handful of global sporting spectacles can. 

“Major events bring vibrancy to the city, bring communities together and attract visitors, and stimulate economic activity. 

“We are confident SailGP will boost our reputation as a city with incredible outdoor assets, the infrastructure and capability to hold major events, and a dedicated public who will no doubt get behind this incredible grand prix. In addition, the event has a focus on sustainability, diversity, innovation and leaving a positive legacy in host cities, something that we are incredibly excited to work together with SailGP to achieve.” 


Credit: Ugo Fonolla for SailGP

About SailGP

SailGP is racing redefined, powered by nature and driven by purpose. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and New York, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism.

The fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and offers the sport’s largest monetary prize of $1 million. Rival national teams battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph).

Visit SailGP.com for more information. 

 

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