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Am Cup Rialto: Around the bases..Superyacht facilty..Cup in History.. Blair Tuke reflects

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 7 Jul 2020 04:19 PDT 7 July 2020
American Magic base under construction, with INEOS Team UK alongside, America's Cup - July 7, 2020 © Richard Gladwell /

For the past week, the America's Cup has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but there's still plenty going on ashore with the British and US bases under construction.

We can see American Magic's base taking shape with the first of two boatsheds being erected using containers for the sides and a framework holding up a soft roof. Out the back opening onto Beaumont Street an office/reception area is under construction.

Next door the massive INEOS Team UK base is coming together nicely, almost all closed in, and with the internal construction visible through the yet to be installed door.

In the boat department, American Magic is ahead, with their chase boat tied up to a marina, and their AC75 Defiant sitting in her cradle - still in the plastic wrap waiting for her shed construction to be complete. She's expected to be sailing in three weeks - assuming their sailing crew can get through quarantine.

There was some not so good news on the 14-day COVID19 quarantine situation, today with the Coalition Government announcing that they were asking airlines to restrict the number of people being transported into New Zealand. While the quarantine system now seems to be working well and trapping incoming passengers who are coronavirus infected, capacity is being reached. New arrivals in New Zealand are all required to enter a government-supervised facility for a 14 day period and be tested on Day 3 and day 12.

The "facilities" are in fact upmarket hotels - with most having a four or five-star rating - on the basis that they are easier to deep clean, and with sophisticated security systems which facilitate tracking. Accommodation is at a premium in Auckland with Rotorua now being used, and Queenstown coming into play. Accommodation capacity is currently at 6,378 rooms, with 5,787 rooms in use.

The NZ Government is still providing the quarantine free, but it is becoming more difficult to justify this cost believed to be around $200 per night. For every 2,000 in quarantine 500 people are required for supervision - drawn from Police, the Military and Corrections.

Further down the road on the western side of Beaumont Steet construction of the new Orams/Site 18 superyacht maintenance facility is well underway - with the winter downpours making a mess of the site.

Sorry we didn't make it down to Luna Rossa, due to the fading light and rain.

Next time.

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