The Prada Cup final series will continue this weekend under Covid-19 level 2 restrictions despite organisers America's Cup Events being opposed to the idea.
Challengers of Record Luna Rossa currently lead Ineos Team UK 4-0 in the series and were keen to get back on the water despite ACE requesting a delay until restrictions were lifted to level 1.|
ACE released a statement this morning saying racing would commence this weekend without fans calling it a 'disappointing situation'.
"While America's Cup Event is encouraged by the news that Auckland has come down to COVID Alert Level 2, one step closer to Level 1 potentially early next week, it is clear that COR are determined to remain inflexible to a change in the race schedule against the interests of the public and commercial benefits to the city and businesses," an ACE statement said.
"ACE has consistently maintained our preference to have the best opportunity to race at Alert Level 1.
Chair of America's Cup Events Tina Symmans said: "This is a disappointing situation, it is my responsibility to do my best to run the event with the best interests of the public and all stakeholders in mind.
"So with the current impasse, while not agreeing with the Challenger of Record, we want to see the regatta completed on the water".
"ACE now considers the best solution that can be hoped for is to continue racing this weekend which will at least allow as much opportunity as possible for the public to enjoy the viewing in small gatherings or via the TV broadcast.
"Since Sunday, we have worked really hard on behalf of everyone in Auckland and all Kiwis to give COR the opportunity to demonstrate some honour and respect for this country and delay the PRADA Cup until we have a greater chance of everyone being able to enjoy and benefit from being back into Level 1" explained Symmans.
"Clearly they have forgotten the words of their leader Patricio Bertelli at the opening press conference who spoke about how privileged everyone is to be in Auckland without significant Covid restrictions and that therefore everyone has a commitment and responsibility to deliver great sportsmanship and the PRADA Cup to be a major sporting event."
"This plea has fallen on deaf ears and it's clear that their focus is solely on Luna Rossa taking the PRADA Cup rather than the greater good of the country who have worked so hard in order to be in a position to stage this event," Symmans concluded.
Racing will continue under the following restrictions:
- Racecourses B & C will not be used for racing, to mitigate the chance of large public gatherings on shore, which are in line with Government Level 2 restrictions.
- 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.
- 2 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.