New Zealand SailGP Team Australia SailGP Team and Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team in action on Race Day 1 of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch photo © David Gray SailGP

SailGP has confirmed the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix will return to Christchurch in New Zealand for its Season 4 iteration – keeping the same dates March 23-24, 2024.

The news comes weeks after SailGP decided not to stage its upcoming NZ event in Auckland due to a legal dispute over land required for a spectator facility, which is understood to be leased by Emirates Team New Zealand.

Welcoming the news, SailGP global CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: “After extensive consultation with our partners, we’re delighted to confirm the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix will be staged once again on the spectacular Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour.

“Christchurch has proven to be one of our very best events to date – with fantastic racing, thousands of fans and spectacular scenery in a natural amphitheatre. This is a perfect venue for the stadium-style, inner-harbour racing SailGP is known for around the world, and we can’t wait to bring more fans closer to the action with additional grandstands planned for next year’s event.”

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch will transform Naval Point into a vibrant race stadium, hosting around 22,000 spectators across the weekend.

The Season 4 event will see the return of an enlarged Race Stadium, grandstand seating area and the exclusive Platinum Lawn. Fans will also be able to purchase behind-the-scenes tours of SailGP’s team bases and technical areas.

Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger says: “It’s fantastic to welcome SailGP back to the city in 2024 for this bonus season. This just proves that Christchurch is increasingly seen as the sports and events capital of New Zealand. This year’s event was brilliant, and it was great that Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour was seen around the world in all its glory.

“I’m sure people will get right behind this event once again. I really want to thank Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Rāpaki, SailGP and ChristchurchNZ for making this happen – this partnership is why we will see SailGP return in 2024.”

New Zealand major events manager Kylie Hawker-Green adds: “The inaugural ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix held in Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour earlier this year provided spectators with incredible racing, and we look forward to seeing Christchurch build on that success in 2024.”

ITM CEO Sarah Johnson says: “ITM are thrilled to be heading back to Christchurch in 2024 for this incredible event. Lyttelton has proven itself to be the perfect arena for this style of racing, allowing attendees to get closer to the action. We look forward to seeing even more fans out there in 2024.”

Tickets went on sale to the public on 14 December 2023.

Main image: New Zealand, Australia and Emirates Great Britain SailGP Teams in action in Christchurch. Photo courtesy of David Gray/SailGP.

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