Ben Ainslie and INEOS Team UK are caught between a rock and a hard place as the coronavirus emergency tightens its grip in New Zealand.
With the european ACWS events cancelled the next task is for the America’s Cup teams to get to New Zealand for the December ACWS events, before the America’s Cup proper in March 2021.
But, therein lies the problem.
With the building schedule of their second AC75 impacted by the UK government restrictions, Ineos Team UK will have a problem to complete construction and initial testing before shipping both AC75s to New Zealand in October.
There will be similar problems for the other two challengers and for even for the defending Kiwi team ETNZ. While construction of the team bases in Auckland is also now stalled.
If the New Zealand coronavirus outbreak follows the pattern of the European, it could mean New Zealand will be locked-down until much later in the year, restricting access for the AC teams.
Ineos Team UK say they will follow guidelines provided from the UK/NZ Government and WHO, with current plans still for the team to head to New Zealand later this year.
In addition the involvement of Ineos team members in SailGP events adds to the uncertainty.
The international concept of the event is proving its Achilles heel due to the amount of equipment being shipped for each event at this time of restricted world-wide movement.
SailGP San Francisco (2-3 May) is already cancelled and the New York event (12-13 June) is looking unlikely.
This leaves the next SailGP event, the Cowes Week event scheduled for 14-15 August, if UK movement restrictions have been lifted by then.
New Zealand has come late to the COVID-19 pandemic in its isolated island location, but is catching up fast.
As of 30 March, 589 people in New Zealand have Covid-19 and one person has died from the virus.
New Zealand declared a four-week lock-down beginning 25 March, following the earlier closing of its borders to foreigners, only allowing citizens and residents to enter the country since 20 March.
But there are also more than 9,000 Britons waiting for repatriation flights from New Zealand.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced on Monday that the government had reached an agreement with airlines to fly its citizens home.
The British High Commissioner in New Zealand Laura Clarke said it would take time to organise repatriating citizens due to the lockdown in New Zealand.