SailGP has announced at the weekend that it will not be possible to transport and fit out the replacement wingsail for the New Zealand SailGP Team in time for the next event in Taranto, Italy.
As such, New Zealand will not be able to compete in the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix on September 23-24. The news follows the full structural failure of the team’s wingsail – caused by the wing coming out of alignment – last weekend in Saint-Tropez.
SailGP is now working towards a solution to get Amokura back on the start line on October 14-15 in Cádiz, Spain and is currently reviewing its rules around redress in consultation with the teams.
New Zealand driver and team co-CEO Peter Burling said: “It’s incredibly disappointing to be unable to race in next weekend’s event for our team, fans, partners, friends and family.”
Following the incident and immediate recovery, SailGP began swiftly investigating options to transport the fleet’s spare wing from New Zealand to Italy and fit it out such that it would be ready to race at the upcoming event. Unfortunately, that has not been possible; in addition to shipment timelines, the new wingsail will require extensive setup and testing once it arrives on-site and the short lead-time between events makes it impossible to get the team on the start line in Taranto.
Wing trimmer and co-CEO Blair Tuke said, “We’re working closely with the league to chart a path forward from here. That includes reviewing the rules for redress and compensatory points to ensure this forced non participation does not further hinder our results this season.”
While the announcement comes as a setback for the Kiwis, Tuke said, “As a group, we’re really proud of how we’ve been sailing, and how we bounced back on day one in Saint-Tropez after a difficult event in Los Angeles. It’s incredibly disappointing to not be able to build on that momentum, but we’ve faced adversity before and we will come back stronger in Cádiz, and for the rest of the season.”
Further updates would be shared as soon as they are available. A full report of the incident can be found here. The ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix | Taranto will take place Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 September CEST, beginning at 11.30pm NZST both days.