The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix’s return to Christchurch (23-24 March) will deliver more action and more impact – with the global championship announcing a range of community initiatives as part of its award-winning SailGP Inspire programme. 

Launched in the league’s inaugural season in 2019, Inspire is SailGP’s community, education and outreach arm. Inspire is delivered in venues around the world and has engaged nearly 19,000 young people to date. The inaugural ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch demonstrated the impact of the programme locally, with 665 young people from across the Canterbury region taking part.

The programme has three pillars: Learning, Racing and Careers, and New Zealand event organisers are looking for prospective interns and aspiring youth sailors to get involved!

This year, even more interns will be matched with SailGP teams and in other roles for a week-long work experience. Inspire Careers placements are designed to showcase a variety of pathways within the sailing industry, targeting a 50/50 female to male participant ratio, while also broadening exposure to diverse communities. Applications for Inspire Careers are now open at, closing 24 February 2024. Candidates must be 18 years old or older.

Youth sailors and wing foilers are also encouraged to apply for SailGP Inspire Racing, which includes three classes: RS Feva, WASZP, and Armstrong wing foiling. Selected athletes will compete on the F50 racecourse directly in front of home crowds. While Feva competitors will be selected from local clubs, applications for both competitive foiling classes will be reviewed on the basis of skill, experience, and a willingness to learn. Participants must be 21 years of age or younger, and competitive sailing or foiling experience is strongly encouraged.

Canterbury Yacht Clubs will also be in on the action, with local clubs and water sport groups paired with one of SailGP’s ten national team as part of SailGP’s “adopt-a-club” initiative.


And finally, Inspire Learning will engage students aged 9-15 years old from selected Christchurch schools in a series of hands-on STEM-based learning activities and challenges at the SailGP Tech Site at Naval Point. Participating schools, which are currently being finalised, will be determined on a number of factors and criteria, including proximity and expanding opportunities and access.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: “SailGP’s return to Christchurch will be bigger and better, with more fans, more teams and more opportunities for the local community to get involved. New Zealand is one of SailGP’s most engaged markets and we’d encourage young New Zealanders to get involved again this year.”

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch is delivered in partnership with host partners ChristchurchNZ and New Zealand Major Events, Title Partner ITM, and event partners Alvarium, Rodd & Gunn and Heineken.

ChristchurchNZ Head of Major Events Karena Finnie said: “SailGP’s Inspire Programme is a great example of a legacy outcome that we look for when supporting major events in Ōtautahi. The level of community engagement is incredible and even more impactful when our tamariki and young adults can get involved.

“Some of our favourite moments from last year’s event came from the Inspire Programme and so it is exciting that there are even more opportunities available in Season 4. I’d encourage all who are interested to apply!”

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch will transform Naval Point into a vibrant race stadium, hosting around 22,000 spectators across the weekend. A handful of tickets remain for both days (23-24 March 2024), available only via