Ōtautahi Christchurch Welcomes SailGP Back To Whakaraupō For 2024 Event
December 13, 2023: The F50s will be flying on Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour again when the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix returns to Ōtautahi Christchurch in March 2024.
Following SailGP’s decision to not race in Auckland next year, Ōtautahi Christchurch has stepped in to ensure the event could go ahead in New Zealand in 2024. Before that decision could be made, host city agency ChristchurchNZ had to ensure that the city could successfully deliver the event.
ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination and Attraction Loren Aberhart said a key consideration in making that decision to host was ensuring the safety of the marine mammals of Whakaraupō.
“A review of the Marine Mammal Management Plan has begun in partnership with Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rāpaki, the Department of Conservation and SailGP. The plan is underpinned by the fundamental principle that the protection of marine mammals, particularly the Hector’s Dolphin, is paramount,” said Aberhart.
"We have also taken on board feedback about enhancing the retail opportunities for both Lyttelton and the central city and despite the short timeframe we have to prepare, we are confident that we can deliver an excellent event, as we did this year.
“The transport plan that meant attendees were bused directly to Naval Point was a great success and avoided congestion in Lyttelton. The work that we did to ensure the success of the 2023 event is a good foundation to build upon.
“We have worked with our key partners to ensure the short lead-in time can be met to ensure Ōtautahi Christchurch once again hosts an amazing event for our community and that our spectacular city is also showcased around the world to millions of viewers.”
The 2025 event will also be held in Ōtautahi Christchurch as planned.