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Lockdown hits America's Cup venue and base construction in Auckland

by Richard Gladwell/ 24 Mar 02:44 PDT 24 March 2020
Lockdown - America's Cup bases - Wynyard Point - March 24, 2020 - Auckland © Richard Gladwell /

The 28 day Lockdown ordered by the Coalition Government to eradicate the coronavirus has triggered a shutdown of America's Cup base and venue construction.

Also impacted is the development of the site and facilities by the Wynyard Edge Alliance. Fortunately the development by WEA is ahead of or close to the project plan, and running under budget. Catch up should be possible with some rescheduling and additional resources - which usually adds cost.

However the situation does not appear to be so great for the Challenger teams, apart from INEOS Team UK, which is well advanced with its base construction.

The Challengers are being hit by a double whammy with a month's delay likely in base construction - not easily caught up with the inclement weather in Auckland's winter, which already seems to have arrived.

Additionally the teams are likely to be looking to arrive in Auckland sooner than intended to escape the coronavirus which is more entrenched in Europe and UK than Auckland.

Here's a look around the base construction area, shot late this afternoon when the construction teams had packed up and left for the coming month.

Emirates Team New Zealand, has hauled its chase boats, and has to retrieve its Italy-bound AC75 Te Aihe from a ship and get it home. A month will be lost in the on-the-water development program, however design effort should be able to continue remotely. For the first time in a long while, the lights are not blazing tonight at the ETNZ base.

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