The America's Cup match could extend beyond the final scheduled date of March 21st, if there are further Covid-19 disruptions.
Organisers are drawing up a number of contingency plans, waiting to see how the Government will define the ongoing alert levels in Auckland, with a press conference scheduled for tomorrow.
But unlike the Prada Cup, there is some room to move.
The Challenger event had a hard deadline of February 24, which meant that if the series was unable to be completed, the team with the most wins would automatically progress, unless a change in the match conditions could be agreed by both the defenders (America's Cup Events) and the Challenger of Record (COR).
But the Herald understands the Cup match is essentially open-ended.
The last scheduled day is March 21, but that is flexible.
Racing will continue until one team achieves seven wins, even if it has to be held beyond that date. At this stage there is no prospect of one team being declared a winner before they achieve that total.
In the current calendar March 11 is the final reserve day; from the 12th March onwards every day can be used for racing.
There will be several competing pressures.
While organisers want to stage the event under alert level 1 – or at least level 2 – the cost of any sustained delays are significant, with the large operations and broadcasting crews embedded in this country for the event.
There are also television schedules that have been agreed – both locally and internationally – and are complex to change.
There is also a question around race courses. Courses B and C are generally recognised as the best options. They provide optimal viewing conditions and also (so far) the most compelling contests, with more variance compared to the predictable `drag racing' witnessed on courses A and E.
But those 'stadium' courses were unavailable when the Prada Cup final was staged under alert level 3, as the government wanted to dissuade large gatherings on North Head and other viewing spots.
It's a difficult trade-off and another Covid-19 curveball, though elongated Cup matches are nothing new.
In 1983 the match between Australia II and Liberty lasted almost two weeks, through it was a 4-3 thriller, with Alan Bond's team prevailing in the decider.
In 2003 Alinghi swept Team New Zealand 5-0 but the Cup match took 16 days to compete. There was nine days without racing at one point, as the wind was either above or below the agreed limits.
San Francisco in 2013 set a new benchmark for lengthy Cup contests. The new best-of-17 format was always going to stretch out but there was nine days lost due to inappropriate conditions, and Oracle's deciding win occurred on the 19th day of the event.
The 2021 event is a first-to-seven series, with the first race rescheduled for March 10.