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Racing in 36th America’s Cup cleared to begin next week

March 5, 2021 GMT
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Italy's Luna Rossa team celebrate after defeating Britain's INEOS Team UK in race eight of the Prada Cup on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, New Zealand, Sunday, Feb.21, 2021.Italian challenger Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will race defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th match for the America's Cup after beating Britain's Ineos Team UK in two races Sunday to seal a 7-1 win in the best-of-13 race challengers series final. (Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)
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Italy's Luna Rossa team celebrate after defeating Britain's INEOS Team UK in race eight of the Prada Cup on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, New Zealand, Sunday, Feb.21, 2021.Italian challenger Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli will race defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th match for the America's Cup after beating Britain's Ineos Team UK in two races Sunday to seal a 7-1 win in the best-of-13 race challengers series final. (Alex Burton/NZ Herald via AP)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Racing in the 36th match for sailing’s America Cup between defender Team New Zealand and Italian challenger Luna Rossa will begin next Wednesday after the relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown regulations in host city Auckland.

The Cup Match was due to begin Saturday but was pushed back to Wednesday when Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, moved to alert level 3 after a small community outbreak.

The outbreak is now thought contained and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced Auckland will move to alert level 2 from Sunday. That will allow racing to take place in the best-of-13 race Match, albeit without crowds at the Cup village or fan zones ashore.

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Two races will be sailed on Wednesday with an off-day Thursday. Racing will continue on the next four days — March 12 to 15 — and continue each day afterwards until one team has won seven races.

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