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Two Seasons Of SailGP Coming To Christchurch

Credit: Beau Outteridge for SailGP

SailGP will bring its brand of adrenaline-filled racing to Christchurch’s Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour for two events over the next four years.

The extended commitment essentially doubles the expected benefits for Christchurch. Together, the two events are estimated to have a total gross economic benefit of $20.6 million NZD and bring more than 11,500 visitors to Christchurch. On top of these benefits is the value of the global broadcast audience of 40 million people seeing Christchurch in a new way.

Economic development agency ChristchurchNZ brokered the deal for the city as part of a four-year agreement between SailGP, Auckland Unlimited and New Zealand Major Events that will bring four world-class sailing events to Aotearoa from 2023 - 2026, encompassing seasons three to six.

 

Loren Heaphy

Having this extended agreement supported by central Government is a huge advantage for the city. It gives Christchurch more certainty because SailGP now has priority access to New Zealand, as well as unlocking more funding and expertise to help deliver the events. This is also a great opportunity to partner with Auckland to help make major events more sustainable for both cities.”

Loren Heaphy -GM Destination and Attraction, ChristchurchNZ

ChristchurchNZ’s GM Destination and Attraction Loren Heaphy said: “Having this extended agreement supported by central Government is a huge advantage for the city. It gives Christchurch more certainty because SailGP now has priority access to New Zealand, as well as unlocking more funding and expertise to help deliver the events. This is also a great opportunity to partner with Auckland to help make major events more sustainable for both cities.”

The first New Zealand Sail Grand Prix will take place in Christchurch in 2023, before alternating between Auckland and Christchurch in subsequent seasons. This extended commitment to Christchurch is welcome news following the cancellation of the season two SailGP event on Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour in January 2022 due to Covid-19.

SailGP’s commitment to sustainability and inclusivity also bring other significant benefits. Their partnership with Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke as kaitiaki of Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour will be an enduring legacy, said Manaia Rehu, Chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke.

 

Ngāti Wheke are delighted that our relationship with SailGP will be extended. We are at work developing a cultural festival and waka experiences to offer as part of the events. But we’re even more excited about a rangatahi development programme for youth to learn about sailing and gain unique personal experiences to develop confidence, exposure to STEM subjects and high-performance sport.”

Manaia Rehu - Chair of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke.

“Ngāti Wheke are delighted that our relationship with SailGP will be extended. We are at work developing a cultural festival and waka experiences to offer as part of the events. But we’re even more excited about a rangatahi development programme for youth to learn about sailing and gain unique personal experiences to develop confidence, exposure to STEM subjects and high-performance sport.”

SailGP is the first climate-positive sports and entertainment property and will be 100% powered by clean energy by 2025. The championship is built on renewable energy – powered by wind, water, and human strength. Their sustainability goals are aligned with Christchurch’s goals for achieving carbon neutrality.

Planning is now underway for the season three event with community consultation to begin in the new year, along with sealing the remaining portion of the Naval Point car park.

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