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Statement On The Season 5 New Zealand Sail Grand Prix

Statement on the Season 5 New Zealand Sail Grand Prix

The Season 5 New Zealand Sail Grand Prix will not be held on Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour in 2025, with SailGP withdrawing from its hosting agreement with ChristchurchNZ for the 2025 event.

The decision follows two iterations of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch, as part of a four-year partnership with ChristchurchNZ, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and New Zealand Major Events.

The original agreement, which included Christchurch and Auckland alternating as hosts between Seasons 3 and 6, was varied in 2023 when SailGP shifted from Auckland due to land restrictions surrounding the venue. With the original intention to host two events fulfilled, ChristchurchNZ has accepted SailGP’s decision to withdraw from the 2025 hosting agreement.

Hosting the New Zealand Sail Grand Prix has been a great success for Ōtautahi Christchurch. Our major motivation for hosting the event was to showcase what a vibrant, world-class venue our city has become for major events. Given that the Season 4 ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix was the world’s largest-ever ticketed sailing event, with more than 20,000 ticketed fans across the weekend, that goal has been well and truly met,”

ChristchurchNZ CEO Ali Adams

“We thank all our partners who collaborated to make the event a success. These include Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, Department of Conservation, Christchurch City Council, Lyttelton Port Company, Environment Canterbury, Waka Kotahi, Venues Ōtautahi, emergency services, the Lyttelton Harbour Business Association and the entire Lyttelton community. We also thank SailGP for all their hard work to deliver two outstanding events here,” said Adams.

SailGP Managing Director Andrew Thompson said: “Following SailGP’s sellout success in Season 3, we’re proud to have delivered another record-setting event in Season 4, which engaged the local community, generated significant benefits throughout the region and put the beauty of Christchurch and New Zealand firmly on the world stage.”

A post-event report for SailGP by Deloitte outlines the benefits of the March event, which amassed a total economic impact of USD $20.7 million for the host region, with a gross expenditure of USD $9.5 million by SailGP and competing teams.

According to FreshInfo, the 2024 event generated a visitor spend of NZD $3.3 million. This was based on 6,091 visitors from outside Canterbury staying an average of 2.67 nights.

Benefits were also felt throughout the community, with more than 730 young people engaged through SailGP Inspire — the league’s youth outreach and education initiative — which has engaged nearly 21,000 young people in host venues around the world. The event was seen by a global broadcast audience of 74.6 million.