36th America’s Cup Regatta Director, Iain Murray has announced that there will be no racing on Thursday, 18 February due to “insufficient on water event support.”
The decision comes after New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, announced this afternoon that, as of midnight tonight, Auckland will drop down from level 3 restrictions to level 2.
Earlier this morning, America’s Cup Event (ACE) stated that unless Auckland’s restrictions were reduced to alert level 1, racing will resume on Friday, 26 February at the earliest.
“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,” said America’s Cup Event Chair, Tina Symmans.
Challenger of Record (COR36) stated earlier today their desire to follow the existing plan and complete all racing by 24 February, stating that existing protocols and procedures were prepared months earlier for this event.
“[COR 36] has offered its full support to ACE and to the local authorities to immediately implement the level 3 Alert management plan provided for by the AC36 Event COVID-19 Management On Land and On Water Plans,” the statement read.
“These plans provide that, in a level 3 COVID-19 alert, the AC36 Village shall be closed and the regattas shall resume ‘behind closed doors,’ without any public, as it already happens for many international sporting events.”
“In this context, and in compliance with the regulations, there is no reason to further delay the carrying on of the regattas as scheduled, giving both teams the opportunity to complete the number of races required by the series within the terms and deadlines imposed by the racing calendar.
“It should be reminded that otherwise, Rule A2.3(b) of Appendix A to the World Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing America’s Cup edition Version 3.03 for the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA – which provide that ‘… the winner is the team with the highest score at the date of the final scheduled date’ – would apply.”