America's Cup teams are meeting today to discuss the future of the World Series regattas in Cagliari and Portsmouth.

The Cagliari event on the Italian island of Sardinia is due to take place from April 23 to 26.

All sporting events in Italy have been cancelled until April 4 due to the Coronavirus outbreak that has the country in lockdown.

The first stop on the World Series will be a historic event as the four syndicates get out on the water to race their AC75s for the first time.


Last week American Magic skipper Dean Barker, who won the America's Cup with Team New Zealand in 2000, labelled the Cagliari event a "risky proposition".

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Speaking to Radio Sport Breakfast, Barker last Friday said they could only work with the information they had at the moment, which was that at this stage the event would go ahead as planned.

"I think you'd say with everything you read about in Italy, it sounds like it's certainly a risky proposition right now, but I'm sure the guys running the event there are talking with the Italian government and what have you to try and understand what's required," Barker said.

Guy Endean, Kevin Shoebridge and Marius van der Pol of Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo / Photosport
Guy Endean, Kevin Shoebridge and Marius van der Pol of Emirates Team New Zealand. Photo / Photosport

"You hear about football matches and things with no one in the stadiums and all the travel bans around Northern Italy. So, definitely, you do wonder how likely it is that it will happen."

Barker said time is not a luxury syndicates have, in preparing to be set for the main event in Auckland early next year.

While the crews have been out on the water in both scaled-down test boats and the first of their two AC75s, the World Series events give them the opportunity to get a feel for racing the vessels and where they stand in the design and development process.

While the World Series ultimately means nothing in terms of which challenger will compete for the America's Cup, getting time on the water in a race situation will teach them about how the vessels sail and respond to in-competition scenarios.

Should the Cagliari event be cancelled, the next chance the crews would get to race would be in Portsmouth in June, where the second World Series event is scheduled to be held.


"It would be really disappointing for everyone, I'm sure," Barker said. "We all want to race, we all want to understand where we are in the design and development phase. There's no better way to check in than by going racing, so it would be really disappointing."