Youth America's Cup called off after international teams denied border exemptions

The Youth America's Cup has been called off after the Government denied border exemptions for international teams.

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The cancellation is a blow for the sport and also the marine industry. Source: 1 NEWS

Featuring mixed crews from 13 nations, the regatta was scheduled for next March.

“We saw it as an essential part of the official events,” Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron general manager Hayden Porter said.

Despite spending $100 million on the America's Cup, the Government says it didn't invest directly into the youth regatta, so no border exemptions.

“I know senior officials in immigration service looked long and hard at this, the event didn't meet the criteria for an exemption,” Immigration Minister Phil Twyford said.

“I think we'd all love to see international sporting events in New Zealand, but at the moment the borders are closed. Thousands of Kiwis are trying to come home every week - that's our priority.”

Porter questioned what that meant for other sports.

“That would suggest, if you're being consistent with your messaging, let's turn off all international sport,” he said.

Just eight weeks ago a new NZ-designed and built foiling machine was launched. Now it's high and dry due to NZ’s strict border policies.

The cancellation hits the local industry, which came together to help develop the new ACF9 and were in the process of building more.

The Kiwi crews will train and remain intact, but they won't have the chance to emulate a young Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who won the event in San Francisco seven years ago.