Yellow and pink flags showing the way for America’s Cup spectators

17 December 2020

The distinctive yellow and pink flag is giving confidence to on-the-water spectators that they are travelling with a safe commercial operator as they watch the America’s Cup yachts this week.

Maritime NZ has made the flag available to commercial operators taking passengers to watch the Prada America’s Cup World Series and Prada Christmas races.

“The flag shows that the operator is in a Maritime NZ recognised safety system or has an exemption,” Neil Rowarth, Maritime NZ’s Compliance Manager - North, said.

a yellow and pink checkered flag on a ship's mast

Maritime NZ has provided over 80 of the flags to operators.

“Commercial operators in MOSS – the Maritime Operator Safety System – are regularly audited to make sure the way they work is safe.” Mr Rowarth said. “Crews must be appropriately trained and certified and the vessels must be surveyed.”

Commercial operators operating under an exemption are assessed to ensure they substantially comply with the same safety standards as an operator under MOSS.

For those reasons, Mr Rowarth recommends that people looking to pay to go out on the water to watch the racing look for the pink and yellow flag.

He warned against recreational boaties planning to make money during AC36 by charging to take people out. 

“Maritime Officers will be out and about during the racing.  If you are using a recreational boat to take out fare paying passengers then you are breaking the law and there will be consequences.”

The Insurance Council of New Zealand warns that this could also impact your insurance cover.

“Most private pleasure craft policies will exclude coverage for commercial operations – such as taking fare paying passengers. If you have any questions about your cover, or any plans to take people out during the Cup, talk to your insurer to check you will be covered,” John Lucas Insurance Manager ICNZ said.

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