The revamped Youth America’s Cup regatta has been cancelled.
The event, which was due to take place across three weeks next year, has been cancelled due to immigration restrictions implemented by the New Zealand government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which is organised in collaboration with The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS), China Sports Industry Group (CSIG) and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), had already received 19 entries from 13 countries.
RNZYS Chief Executive, Hayden Porter, said organisers were "bitterly disappointed” by the decision made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
“The reasons we were given for not getting the immigration clearance required were that MBIE has not invested directly into this event and that New Zealanders could perform the sailing roles for the international teams.
"We are struggling to understand how that is possible as it is an international event and teams have to represent their country. Furthermore, it came at no cost to the Government at a time where New Zealand needs this type of event and investment.”
The event was due to see a brand-new class of competing foiling monohulls. The nine metre AC9Fs were designed by Yachting Developments in collaboration with the Emirates Team New Zealand design team, Southern Spars and North Sails.
Yard owner and RNZYS commodore Ian Cook described the decision as "a big blow to the NZ marine industry".
"The boat design and build project has required a huge amount of financial investment from YDL and other New Zealand marine businesses as well as incredible dedication and many hours being spent by my talented team.
"It is hard to face the disappointment we all feel with the event no longer going ahead through no fault of our own."