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Christchurch gearing up to host ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix – Melissa Lee

Up to 22,000 people are expected to descend on Whakaraupō Lyttleton Harbour from 23-24 March to watch the highly anticipated ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix.

Minister for Economic Development, Melissa Lee says it’s excellent to see the event return for the second year in a row.

“The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix is a world-class event that allows spectators to get up close and personal with some of the best sailing action right here in our own backyard. It’s clearly popular with the athletes too, who voted Christchurch the best venue on last year’s global series,” says Lee.

“The event provides wonderful opportunities off the water too, such as boosting tourism nationally and regionally, significant global exposure for New Zealand, with around 10 million people watching the live broadcast, opportunities for young people to engage in ancillary sailing activities and promoting women’s elite participation in the sport.

“It’s also great to have such a high profile event take place in the South Island, helping to spread the benefits of major events across the country.

“I want to wish all the best to the New Zealand Sail-GP Team, The Black Foils, as they compete for a spot on the podium at home.”

Last year’s Sail-GP event attracted a crowd of 12,000 people and generated $8.5 million in value for the local and national economies, according to an economic impact report commissioned by Sail-GP.

The Government has committed a multi-year investment of $5.4 million across four years (2023 to 2026) from the Major Events Fund to support Sail-GP events in New Zealand.


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