After four years in the making, the race began this week with defender, Emirates Team New Zealand taking on Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, in the battle to win the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA in Auckland. The weekend celebrations will, of course, include a rocking Rod Stewart virtual performance of “Sailing”!
A good race needs an avid audience to spur the competitors along and the 36th America’s Cup is no exception, for now the racing is taking place under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions, with two races taking place per day, between 4pm – 6pm. However, following the government’s review of alert levels on Friday, it’s hoped there will be a return to Level 1 in time for the weekend remaining races.
The first team to win seven races will take home the Auld Mug.
Steve Armitage, Auckland Unlimited general manager – Destination says that while Auckland’s most recent lockdowns may have delayed the start of the regatta, the city is still expecting a successful final Match with support from Auckland and around New Zealand.
He said: “We’ve been waiting for this moment since Team New Zealand’s win in 2017 and it’s finally here. While it’s great that there are so many ways to watch from home, you don’t want to miss out on the buzz and atmosphere happening right here in Auckland.
“It has been a challenging period, but Auckland has been here before and we’ve demonstrated our resilience and ability to adapt through tough times like these.”.
“COVID-19 has showed us the importance of supporting local, so if you’re looking for a way to watch this week, why not head to your favourite bar, restaurant or café screening the action? Many of these businesses have been hard hit by recent lockdowns and are looking to make the most of the event.”
While Level 2 restrictions are in place, the Race Village will not be activating with screenings of the racing, but the surrounding bars and restaurants remain open, operating within the relevant government guidelines.
In the meantime, Auckland is continuing to gear up towards being able to operate fully within Alert Level 1 from Saturday and has an exciting calendar of activity to entice people back to the city and surrounds.
“We have a big weekend of action planned, including the resumption of many of our Summernova events if we shift to Alert Level 1. Plus of course a very special virtual performance from Sir Rod Stewart in the lead up to Saturday’s racing,” Armitage says.
Rock the Dock, a joint venture between Tourism New Zealand and Auckland Unlimited, will see ‘rocking Rod’ perform his hit song, ‘Sailing’ virtually from London for all of Auckland and New Zealand to join in, sending a message of unity and aroha for all overseas visitors and fans who couldn’t make it this year.
The event will be beamed onto the big screen in the America’s Cup Race Village on Saturday 13 March from 2:30 – 3:30 PM, with TVNZ broadcasting the singalong into regional fan zones, venues and households around the country. The singalong will also be screened at Summernova’s Race
Days by the Sea, Waterbourne Beach Festival and Kia Kotahi Race Days at Takaparawhau Bastion Point.
Assuming a shift to Alert Level 1 in time for the weekend’s racing (13, 14 March), several Summernova festival sites will be the place to watch, with live racing, food stalls, music, entertainment and more.
• Waterbourne Beach Festival, Takapuna Beach Reserve,
• Kia Kotahi Race Days at Takaparawhau, Bastion Point,
• Race Days by the Sea, Windsor Reserve, Devonport, and
• Love your Maunga ki Maungauika, North Head, Devonport.
Summernova will also bring the city to life with live music in Te Komititanga Square and Mission Bay on Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 – 6:30 PM, as well as children’s activities such as free face painting and bubble stations.
At Level 1, there will also be dock out shows, merchandise stalls, cultural displays, and entertainment in the Race Village.
When will the racing take place?
With last weekend’s races postponed, the America’s Cup Match will now begin on Wednesday 10 March, with two races per day scheduled for Wednesday 10 March, Friday 12 March, Saturday 13 March, Sunday 14 March, Monday 15 March and each day thereafter until one team earns seven wins (assuming Level 1 or 2).
Can I watch on-land at Alert Level 2?
At Level 2, people can gather at public spaces including beaches and vantages around the city. There will be QR codes at many of these sites, so please scan in and follow physical distancing guidelines. If viewing spots are getting busy, find another location or consider watching from home. The Race Village will not have any entertainment, live racing or other activations.
Can I go out on my boat at Alert Level 2?
At Level 2, the spectator fleet can operate safely with individual captains responsible for ensuring scanning and physical distancing is practiced on board. Commercial hospitality vessels will be limited to no more than 100 passengers, in line with Level 2 requirements.
What’s the best way to tune in at Alert Level 2?
Watching from home or in your local restaurant, bar or café operating under Level 2 guidelines is a great way to enjoy the America’s Cup. Races will be streamed FREE on several platforms, including TVNZ 1 and TVNZ OnDemand, americascup.com and the official America’s Cup YouTube and Facebook channels.
Will the America’s Cup Race Village be open at Alert Level 2?
There will be no live racing, entertainment, or other activations in the America’s Cup Race Village at Alert Level 2; however, businesses within the Village footprint will be open and operating in-line with Government guidelines.
What about other activations around the city?
Assuming Auckland is in Alert Level 1 by Saturday 13 March, several Summernova events, including Kia Kotahi: Race Days on Takaparawhau (Bastion Point), Race Days by the Sea (Devonport), Waterbourne Beach Festival (Takapuna) and Love Your Maunga ki Maungauika (North Head) will be showing the racing live on big screens with food and beverage, entertainment