Confirmed: Full nine-boat F50 fleet to race at this weekend’s ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch

The full, nine-strong flying F50 fleet is set to compete on the waters of Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbour this weekend following an intense repair program.

It comes after a severe weather incident caused significant damage to the fleet’s wing sails and the Canada F50 after the first day of racing in Sydney. 

Season 3 // New Zealand Sail Grand Prix // Tech team make repairs in Lyttelton

Since then, the SailGP Tech Team has been working flat out to repair the fleet in time for the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch this weekend. 

The repair program was a joint effort by the SailGP Tech Team, which has been repairing the Canada F50 and wings on the ground in Lyttelton, and SailGP Technologies in Warkworth. 

Season 3 // New Zealand Sail Grand Prix // F50 repairs underway in Lyttelton

The result is nine complete boats ready to race this weekend with the 18m or 24m wing configuration. The 29m wing configuration remains unavailable while further repairs take place. 

Speaking about the repair effort, SailGP Technologies managing director Dave Ridley said the adversity of Sydney had ‘brought the team closer together’.

Season 3 // New Zealand Sail Grand Prix // Spain F50 constructed

“We’ve bonded around a common goal and it’s driven everyone to help out,” he said. “The outcome is that nine boats will be racing here, which really shows the strength of SailGP as a company.” 

He added that it was ‘incredible’ for the company to rebound from ‘such a setback’ and be at ‘almost 100% capacity only a month later’. 

SailGP CEO Russell Coutts added: “The fact that we have all nine F50s sailing in Lyttelton is a testament to the incredible team effort by our Tech Team, both on the ground and at SailGP Technologies. They’re the backbone of SailGP and it’s thanks to them we’re able to deliver a full event here in New Zealand.”

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch takes place on March 18 & 19 on Whakaraupō, Lyttelton Harbor.

ABOUT DOYLE SAILS // Around the world, Doyle Sails has over 500 sailmakers in 46 different locations, all equally passionate about sailing – living and breathing our ethos ’Global Leaders and Local Experts.’

As sailors, our obsession with sailing connects us to the water. The water is our playground, a sanctuary where we seek enjoyment, a competitive playing field where we race as competitors; it’s sometimes our home and always a place that unlocks our sense of adventure wherever that adventure might take us. Behind every adventure is a Doyle sailor who shares this same obsession as you. We put your journey at the very heart of what we do to deliver the ultimate enjoyment and performance, powering our constant need to push the boundaries in sail design and innovation, to reimagine sailing.

From dinghies, club racers and cruising yachts through to Grand Prix campaigns and Superyachts, we are your experts. Meet our team here.

Scroll to Top