[Source:Emirates Team New Zealand] Emirates Team New Zealand said today that Bermuda, selected as the venue for the 35th America’s Cup match, has the capacity, the experience and the will to run a successful event in 2017.
Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton said the team was not surprised that Bermuda had been given the nod – speculation had been rife for weeks.
Confirmation came from the America’s Cup Event Authority’s Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller at a press conference in New York.
Schiller also said that the ACEA had received a serious proposal from Emirates Team New Zealand about hosting a major event in Auckland
Dalton said that Bermuda’s selection ahead of San Diego, despite what many pessimists had said, would not be a serious setback for the team.
“As we have made plain, West coast USA looked like a better option for us. It’s only 12 hours from New Zealand, and a large market for our sponsors and New Zealand businesses,” he said.
“When it became apparent that Bermuda’s bid was favoured we stepped up our analysis of Bermuda as a venue both in operational terms and for the opportunities it might provide for our sponsors, suppliers and New Zealand Inc to leverage their involvement with the team.
“We were encouraged by what we learned. Operationally, Bermuda is by far a better place to sail. Unlike San Diego there’s usually a good sea breeze, plenty of space for the race course area and more waterfront space is available for teams to set up bases.
“Bermuda has a long history of organising top-level match racing events and as a country lives on visitors and tourism.”
Dalton said: “Sponsors for whom both the United States and Europe are important markets are confident they can make the venue work for them. It is in a time zone that is great for European television and is only an hour ahead of the East Coast USA.”
“We sense from the America’s Cup Event Authority and Bermudan officials that they are determined to run a successful event and are willing to work co-operatively with the teams to achieve that.”
Grant Dalton said the team was pleased the waiting was over. “Now we know the venue we can get on with putting the finishing touches to our business plan and present it to our backers. We have solid support from our sponsors and we have every expectation of being able to mount a credible challenge in Bermuda.
Dalton said America’s Cup events when teams arrived at the match venue years before racing started are in the past.
“Pre-regattas leading up to the 32nd America’s Cup were held in several different countries, as were the America’s Cup World Series regattas before San Francisco last year. The same will be true for the 35th America’s Cup. ”
Five ACWS regattas are scheduled for 2015 and the same number for 2016. Venues already announced are Bermuda, England, Sweden and Italy. New Zealand has the opportunity to host an ACWS regatta in December 2015 and another in December 2016.
Dalton confirmed the team had put together a proposal to ACEA about events in New Zealand and discussions were proceeding favourably. “Detail must remain confidential for now; we hope we can say much more before the end of the year.”