17 February 2021
America’s Cup Event (ACE) has released a statement earlier this morning regarding the rescheduling of the Prada Cup Final.
Initially scheduled for today, the Prada Cup Final was postponed on Sunday following the announcement that Auckland would be under level 3 restrictions for 72 hours, beginning 11:59pm.
The decision came after three locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were reported earlier that day in New Zealand’s largest city.
Level 2 restrictions were also placed on the rest of the country in accordance to the announcement.
“As event organisers, we have spent a considerable amount of time since Sunday evening looking at all possible scenarios,” said America’s Cup Event Chair, Tina Symmans, earlier this morning.
“Like the majority of events around the country this weekend, the ramifications of running the remainder of the event need to be considered in an environment which is highly uncertain due to the latest COVID-19 concerns.”
ACE has consulted with the America’s Cup Minister, Stuart Nash, and senior council officials with one consideration being to postpone the current schedule of racing and events in the best interests of the public and all stakeholders given the current COVID-19 environment.
The final decision will be based on one of two options based on the New Zealand’s government review of the alert levels at 4:30pm NZDT.
If the alert level is dropped to level 1, racing will resume this weekend.
Any higher will see all events, racing and event activations rescheduled to at least Friday, 26 February.
In accordance with this new schedule, Race 1 of the America’s Cup will begin on Saturday, 13 March. It is still intended for Prada Cup Final to be completed by 21 March.
“There is no guarantee as to what COVID-19 Alert Level Auckland or New Zealand will be operating under. If the event is faced with operating under COVID-19 Level 2 or 3, plans are in place to ensure the continued delivery and conclusion of the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada within the scheduled dates,” said Symmans.
Challenger of Record (COR36) made their position clear this morning by stating their desire to complete the Prada Cup final by the 24 February in accordance with the existing Prada Cup Final conditions despite the current alert level.
COR36 has also stated that if racing cannot be completed by this time next week, the leading point scorer, which is currently Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, will be announced the winner of the Prada Cup and Challenger for the America’s Cup Match.
Following the release of this statement, the New Zealand government announced three new confirmed cases in Auckland, two of which are community cases. The third is currently in managed isolation and quarantine.
Updates to follow.