America’s Cup 2021: Prada Cup final postponed due to Auckland Covid-19 lockdown
The Prada Cup final between Luna Rossa and Ineos Team UK has been postponed.
Racing was set to continue on Wednesday, but the news that Auckland – where the races are being held – has moved into level 3 lockdown will see the final pushed back.
The news was announced after the conclusion of racing this afternoon, once the Government had released the new alert levels.
“As a result of the Government announcement of level three lockdown in Auckland, initially for 72 hours, the next scheduled race day has been postponed and the event will not be open to the public during this time,” a statement said.
“America’s Cup Event will be working with the authorities and relevant agencies over the next few days to work through the ongoing ramifications.”
Ineos Team UK skipper Sir Ben Ainslie backed the decision.
“We will do whatever the authorities advise us to do. Of course it’s more important that people are safe and healthy, so we’ll just see what happens.
“It’s bad news, it’s a timely reminder of what the world’s going through isn’t it? We’re very fortunate to be out here doing a yacht race which we all love, so it’s a difficult situation.”
Luna Rossa hold a 4-0 lead in the best-of-13 series, with two races a day having been scheduled for Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and one on next Monday.
With Luna Rossa only needing three more wins for victory, it is possible, depending on lockdown restrictions, that the final could still conclude within that scheduled timeframe.
However, with the level three restrictions set to be reviewed regularly, it is yet to be decided when racing will continue.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Cup organisers will be taking a “wait and see” approach to their planning.
“They already have Thursday as a postponement day, they haven’t confirmed when the next race will be.
“I imagine they will be doing exactly what the rest of New Zealand is doing and keeping an eye out on the new information that comes to hand.”
The winner of the Prada Cup final is set to take on Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup match next month.
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