Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa have started the America’s Cup early with a momentary drag race on the Waitemat Harbour.
With Auckland at alert Level 3 due to the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community, the America’s Cup match which was set to kick off this weekend has been pushed back to next Wednesday at the earliest, pending the Government’s decision about whether to extend lockdown in the city.
However, that hasn’t stopped the teams from participating in some friendly competition on the water.
Footage posted on the Sail Chaser YouTube channel shows Team NZ and Luna Rossa testing each other’s speed with an impromptu drag race.
“Emirates Team New Zealand sailed over to where Luna Rossa was practising at about 3pm,” Harry Lusk, creator of the Sail Chaser YouTube channel, wrote in the video.
“They circled each other for a short while and engaged in a momentary ‘drag race’ before Te Rehutai sailed east to continue her practice.”
Both teams have been preparing for the first-to-seven America’s Cup match while awaiting decision on whether the event can go ahead.
Organisers are drawing up a number of contingency plans, which could include races extending beyond the final scheduled date of March 21 if there are further Covid-19 disruptions.
America’s Cup Event has confirmed that it applied for an exemption to race under Level 3 restrictions “so as to keep as many options open as possible”.
Races can continue at Level 2 but with crowd restrictions.