America's Cup 2021: Portsmouth World Series event cancelled amid coronavirus pandemic

Team NZ boss Grant Dalton
Team NZ boss Grant Dalton Photo credit: Getty

America's Cup holders Team New Zealand have confirmed the cancellation of the World Series event in Portsmouth.

The decision comes amid global reaction to the outbreak of COVID-19, which has caused many countries into lockdown.

"The health and wellbeing of the public, the volunteers, the stakeholders, event organisers and America’s Cup teams have to be put first and foremost," a statement from Team New Zealand said.

"Proceeding with the event in the current global climate would simply be irresponsible given the safety considerations.

"We are also facing significant travel and logistical restrictions that are in place right now, and forecast to remain in the coming weeks and potentially months.

"This decision was not taken lightly and now allows all of the teams to focus their attention on their respective operations in their home ports in the coming months, while planning logistics for their move to Auckland, and subsequent development, testing and preparations for ACWS Auckland (December 17-20), PRADA Cup (January 22-February 5) and the America’s Cup Match, presented by Prada (March 6-15)."

Team UK principal and helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie said: "Whilst it’s a sad day for us as the home team, we completely agree with the decision to cancel the America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth.

"In these circumstances, preventing the spread of COVID-19 has to be everyone’s top priority. We all need to come together and listen to the official advice and directives to stop this virus spreading, everyone has their part to play."