Live updates: New Zealand Sail Grand Prix at Lyttelton, Christchurch

  • 23/03/2024

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4:43pm - And that's the end of the day's racing, before it even begins. The racing window has closed and Mother Nature has carried the honours.

Surely tomorrow, we'll be better prepared... such a shame for the record paying crowd, who go home without seeing any racing.

Join us again at 3pm Sunday for live updates of the revised racing scheduled.

4:33pm - Still no racing, due to "mammals on course", which is a little embarrassing. The same thing happened last year and dolphins are quite common in this area, so it wouldn't have takent much foresight to make sure they had something to do somewhere else today.

The opening race has been delayed, after a dolphin was sighted on the course. SailGP is known for its respect for the ocean and nature, so wellbeing of wildlife comes before racing.

2:57pm - Great Britain have been docked points - both from the NZ regatta and the season standings - after a training incident with Spain.

The Brits collided with the Spanish boat during the third practice race on Friday and the penalty may have ended their chances of reaching the series final at San Francisco.

"We’re licking wounds from that issue," said GBR driver Giles Scott. "It's really, really frustrating, but tomorrow's a new day - we'll come out swinging and see what the weekend's got."

The British now sit seventh overall, 11 points out of the top-three cutoff for the final.


Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of NZ Sail Grand Prix at Christchurch's picturesque Lyttelton Harbour.

Last year saw the international sailing circuit visit the South Island for the first time and many of the participants described the stopover as the best of the year.

This event was scheduled for Auckland, but unavailability of suitable venues forced organisers to return to Lyttelton, which isn't a bad back-up option.

The home team were pipped by Kiwi skipper Phil Robertson and his Canadian crew in 2023, but the newly branded 'Black Foils' are determined to take honours this weekend, after back-to-back success at Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Driver Peter Burling wans't at the wheel for the last regatta at Sydney, while he was on babywatch, so he'll chase a hattrick of victories at Christchurch.

Saturday's racing will consist of three fleet races, while Sunday will see two more, plus the three-boat final.

The fleet and championship standings are:

Australia - Tom Slingsby  

New Zealand - Peter Burling

Denmark - Nicholai Sehested

Spain - Diego Botin

France - Quentin Delapierre

Great Britain - Giles Scott

United States - Taylor Canfield

Canada - Phil Robertson

Germany - Erik Heil

Switzerland - Nathan Outteridge

Join us at 3pm for the first race.

TAB Odds: Australia $2.90, New Zealand $3.25, Denmark $8, France $11, Spain $11


Canada's Kiwi skipper out to spoil homecoming party again at SailGP Christchurch

The black boat isn't the only one chasing a 'home' win at the New Zealand round of SailGP this weekend.

Last year, Kiwi Phil Robertson stole the show, when he drove his Canadian team to victory on Lyttelton Harbour.

Robertson is back in the country for the first time since the famous win and his sights set on a repeat effort this weekend, but defending his title isn't the only reason to come home.  

"It's pretty hard to compete with New Zealand coffee around the world," Robertson told Newshub. 

As it turns out, that rule applies to most beverages - including the alcoholic variety.

"I definitely like the local craft breweries and get into it... but I still love a Speights," he joked.

Come Sunday, he'll hope those beers will be celebratory. Last year, he helped Canada achieve their only event win to date, spoiling the party for local hero Peter Burling and the NZ boat.

"That was up there," he reflected. "That was massive."

Canada celebrate their success at Christchurch in 2023.
Canada celebrate their success at Christchurch in 2023. Photo credit: Photosport

Not everything about being home is bright and sunny.  

"It's cold here, but the colder air brings a denser air, so you go faster," he noted.

The ever-comical Robertson has his own way of describing windy conditions at the last event in Sydney.

"You've got to bring your brown undies and buckle up, because it's going to be a wild ride," he said.

Robertson confirms those brown undies have been included in his luggage this weekend.

"I packed my brown undies, but hopefully I won't need them, because I love the speed."

That should be music to the ears of a record 22,0000 spectators who will make this weekend the world's largest ever ticketed sailing event.  

"An event like this here in Christchurch, I'm really hoping it inspires the local kids down here to get into it, because it's a wicked sport and there's so many opportunities around the world," he said.

If Robertson can go back-to-back for Canada, there would be no better example set.