Sailing: SailGP organisers hope for New Zealand leg after January plans scuppered by MIQ spot shortage

SailGP organisers still hold out hope the New Zealand leg this season won't be cancelled.

The Government has denied a request for 170 managed isolation spots in January, effectively making the event in Christchurch impossible.

The event hailed as the Formula One of sailing appears to be racing right past us

"There's a tinge of disappointment today," event director Karl Budge tells Newshub.

Disappointment because the event met every requirement needed to host the event here in Lyttelton, but there simply weren't enough managed isolation beds.

"The time of year we're after those, unfortunately, there's an incredible demand on that system and unfortunately we don't have access," Budge adds.

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson tells Newshub: "The decision was made by the Border Exemptions Officials Group not to progress the proposal for ministerial consideration. 

"This was due to the request coming during a period of high demand for returning New Zealanders."

SailGP's hopes of holding an event this season are virtually sunk, but it's trying to find a compromise.

"We're now trying to work through with local and central government what else there could be," says Budge. "We remain flexible, open and willing to do what we need to do."

The event could be moved to a different time, which Robertson confirms would be considered by officials.

Meanwhile, SailGP will focus on the rest of its calendar, which will go ahead as planned, starting with the next event in Denmark next weekend.