Please select your home edition
Lizard 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Youth America's Cup Cancelled Due To NZ Government Immigration Rules

by Andrew Delves/RNZYS 1 Sep 2020 22:06 UTC
The AC75 crosses the AC9F- the Youth America's Cup class - Te Aihe - AC75 - Emirates Team New Zealand - July 15, Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand © Richard Gladwell, / nz

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) has today confirmed that next year's Youth America's Cup event has been cancelled due to New Zealand Government restrictions around immigration. Despite the event being an official part of the America's Cup and being fully funded through sponsorship and entry fees, as well as creating dozens of jobs for New Zealanders, it will not be given the same exemption status that other America's Cup teams have been granted.

The event was a collaboration between RNZYS, the China Sports Industry Group (CSIG) and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ). The curtain raiser regatta was initially scheduled to run in China, and this was later changed to Auckland with the impact of COVID-19 in China. It would then have run across three weeks in early 2021, around the Prada Challenger Series and the 36th America's Cup period. With 19 entries from 13 nations confirmed it was set to be a huge event for New Zealand complementing the Prada Cup challenger series and America's Cup match superbly. It was estimated to generate more than 10 million dollars into the New Zealand economy, create jobs for New Zealanders and promote New Zealand internationally. Many of the international teams entered had indicated they would be arriving months in advance to train for the regatta.

"We are bitterly disappointed," says RNZYS Chief Executive, Hayden Porter. "The sailors, boat builders, sponsors plus everyone who has invested their time and passion into the Youth America's Cup event are all devastated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment's (MBIE) decision that this event cannot go ahead.

The reasons we were given for not getting the immigration clearance required were that MBIE has not invested directly into this event and that New Zealanders could perform the sailing roles for the international teams. We are struggling to understand how that is possible as it is an international event and teams have to represent their country. Furthermore, it came at no cost to the Government at a time where New Zealand needs this type of event and investment."

Ian Cook, RNZYS Commodore and Yard Owner of Yachting Developments (YDL) who were building the AC9F yachts that were to be used, says "The boat design and build project has required a huge amount of financial investment from YDL and other New Zealand marine businesses as well as incredible dedication and many hours being spent by my talented team. It is hard to face the disappointment we all feel with the event no longer going ahead through no fault of our own. It is a big blow to the NZ Marine industry."

The AC9F foiling mono hull boats have been designed by Yachting Developments in collaboration with a number of parties including, Harken, Southern Spars and North Sails. Over these past months everyone has keenly followed the boat development, watching the on-water testing on the Waitemata Harbour around the world, with a cutting-edge yacht as the result.

As an exclusive partner of the Youth America's Cup, China Sports Industry Group expressed its sincere regrets over this news while remaining committed to an ongoing collaboration with the RNZYS and ETNZ to promote youth sailing, especially on foiling boats, as well as taking the message to the worldwide sailing community.

The Youth America's Cup is a stepping stone into the main America's Cup event for young sailors and the RNZYS has had to advise 19 teams entered from 13 nations that the event is cancelled. The teams represent the America's Cup sailors of tomorrow and the sailors are devastated. This event was to also be the first gender diverse event of its kind. RNZYS Chief Executive, Hayden Porter says "The event was fully funded and had been creating jobs for New Zealanders. It is frustrating because the teams were also willing to quarantine here at their own expense but New Zealand Government rules around immigration have forced the cancellation, despite the obvious benefits in terms of jobs and international investment."

The RNZYS Youth America's Cup squad of six male and six female sailors, aged between 18 - 25 years, is now our silver lining. Led by Leonard Takahashi and Nick Egnot-Johnson, these sailors will continue to train together. If Emirates Team New Zealand has a successful America's Cup defence in March 2021 the RNZYS intends to reinstate the event later that year with both international and local events. The AC9F yacht will be available for international teams to purchase and train on for these events.

"When the Covid-19-affected world changes, the Youth America's Cup will be back on the cards for Auckland and we will all be ready," say both Cook and Porter.

Related Articles

Hylas Yachts to host an exclusive yacht show
The entire Hylas Yachts fleet on display together for the first time ever Hylas Yachts had a gratifying year in 2020, despite any challenges, as several new models touched the water for the first time and have been delivered to owners. Now it's time to show these new exciting yachts to a wider Hylas community. Posted today at 5:39 pm
So Much for a Clean Wake
Bad actions will reflect upon those who follow and potentially poison perceptions for generations Clean Wake: A concept amongst cruising sailors that stresses the impact than individual behaviour has on the group. Bad actions will reflect upon those who follow and potentially poison perceptions for generations. Posted today at 10:02 am
The coolest teacher on earth
Canadian educator & students use Raymarine technology to locate and document undiscovered shipwrecks Jean-Marc Perreault is not your average middle and high school science and technology teacher. For the past 27 years, the Canadian educator has consistently demonstrated that he will go to any length to make his courses more interesting Posted on 14 Jan
2020 Annual IMB Piracy Report
An increase of piracy and armed robbery incidents in 2020 The International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB)'s annual piracy report recorded an increase of piracy and armed robbery incidents in 2020. Posted on 13 Jan
European inland waterways cruising guides updates
The publications also include a 25% discount offer on first year's CA membership CA Members using the digital editions of the guides, which contain hyperlinks to the CA's proprietary CAptain's Mate app, can use the app to access the most up-to-date information on mooring locations. Posted on 13 Jan
Saildrone launches 72-foot Surveyor
Revolutionizing ocean seabed mapping The new Saildrone Surveyor is the world's most advanced uncrewed surface vehicle, equipped with an array of acoustic instruments for high-resolution shallow and deep-water mapping. Posted on 13 Jan
RCC awards the Medal for Services to Cruising 2020
The Medal for Services to Cruising was founded in memory of Jocelyn Swann The RCC announced at the Awards Evening 07 January, held on Zoom, that the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has been awarded the Medal for Services to Cruising. Posted on 12 Jan
Bookings now open for the RYA Cruising Conference
The online event has a packed schedule to interest regular and novice cruisers alike Topics will include real-life stories from fellow cruisers, as well as practical cruising advice from the RYA experts and all the latest updates on travelling around the EU. The keynote speaker of the event will be released later this month. Posted on 11 Jan
What women want men to know on boats
Real life examples of discrimination When women sailors are together, the number one question they ask is, how do I get on a safe boat? We talk about safety a lot in sailing, and part of this question is about safety at sea. Posted on 11 Jan
Viking Explorers 2021 departure
4th edition started from the Canary Islands on Saturday The 4th edition of the Viking Explorers started from the Canary Islands to Grenada on the 9th of January, with a delay of 3 days as captains and the organization decided to delay the departure due to the storm Filomena Posted on 11 Jan
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - FooterGJW Direct 2020 FOOTERRaymarine 2021 Element - FOOTER