All you need to know ahead of day one of the America’s Cup match between Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa:
Racing in the 36th match for sailing’s America’s Cup between defender Team New Zealand and Italian challenger Luna Rossa will begin today after the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown regulations in Auckland.
The cup match was due to begin on Saturday but was pushed back to Wednesday when Auckland moved to alert level 3 after a small community outbreak.
The outbreak is now thought to be contained and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland’s move to alert level 2 last week. That will allow racing to take place in the best-of-13 race match, albeit without crowds at the cup village or fan zones ashore.
Two races will be sailed today with an off-day Thursday. Racing will continue on the following four days — March 12 to 15 — and continue each day afterwards until one team has won seven races.
Team NZ will go into the clash as favourites, being the defenders and host, but Luna Rossa will be no pushovers having dominated the Prada Cup final 7-1 against Ineos Team UK.
Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday ahead of the first race, Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena said his team was determined to prove the doubters wrong.
“We took the experience of the past campaign and try and build something different from the past,” Sirena said. “Work out where we failed in the past. You really see the changes from the Christmas Cup to the Prada Cup final. We’ve had a big up and down.
“In the past we never really reacted enough to criticism. People wrote us off every stage. Now we are in the final. People are saying we will need a miracle to beat Team New Zealand. Let’s race tomorrow and see what happens.”
Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling said he had no regrets in the build-up to the cup match in what has been challenging circumstances.
“I don’t have any regrets on what we’ve done along the way. Incredible campaign,” he said. “A lot of changes with Covid, not having the warm-up events. At the end of the day, we’re here now and tomorrow we get to race and find out for real.”
“Everyone is really ready to go out and race tomorrow,” Sirena added. “I said to the team we have nothing to lose. Only to win. I don’t know if they are going to be a surprise. But I am more confident than ever going into a race against them.”
The America’s Cup match is a best of 13 series, with the winner being crowned champions and awarded the Auld Mug. The racing window for each race day will be around 4pm-6pm, with the first race of each day scheduled for 4.15pm.
Mar 10: Race 1 and 2
Mar 12: Race 3 and 4
Mar 13: Race 5 and 6
Mar 14: Race 7 and 8*
Mar 15: Race 9* and 10*
Mar 16: Race 11* and 12*
Mar 17: Race 13*
* if necessary.
To win Race 1:
Team New Zealand – $1.30
Luna Rossa – $3.20
Overall winner of the America’s Cup:
Team New Zealand – $1.25
Luna Rossa – $3.50
How to watch and stream
The Herald will have live updates on nzherald.co.nz/sport with AUT’s sailing professor Mark Orams, while you can listen to live commentary on Gold AM and iHeartRadio.
America’s Cup coverage is free-to-air on TVNZ. You can also stream the action live or on-demand on TVNZ.co.nz or on the America’s Cup YouTube channel.
Restrictions at alert level 2
• Racing under alert Level 2 will be restricted to only be sailed on either race course A or E. Under alert Level 1, all courses will become an option to race on again for the regatta director.
• No public viewing opportunities such as dock out shows or public screening of racing in the race village.
• Including gatherings of no more than 100 people in the America’s Cup race village or public spectator vantage points around Auckland.
• Limited village activations to ensure no more than 100 people.
• Two metre physical distancing, and face masks recommended.
• All bars, restaurants and cafes surrounding the race village can remain open in line with Ministry of Health Covid-19 level 2 guidelines.
• Public are reminded to always scan the NZCOVID19 Tracer App.
Heading into the cup racing?
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride.
• Don’t forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America’s Cup village.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.
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