An impetus for change

Published on December 22nd, 2014

by Peter Rusch, America’s Cup Event Authority
I’ve been involved in the past five editions of the America’s Cup, dating back to 1999, which has taken me to Auckland, New Zealand (1999, 2003); Valencia, Spain (2007, 2010); and San Francisco (2013). In each case the America’s Cup was the impetus, to a greater or lesser degree, for major projects in the host venue.

In Auckland, the Viaduct Basin was created from a little-used area of the port. Today it remains the prime waterfront destination in New Zealand’s biggest city and an entire marine industry that grew up around the America’s Cup continues to flourish.

In Valencia, a rundown area of the port was transformed into Port America’s Cup, and has subsequently been the venue for F1 events and other sailing regattas. As the America’s Cup moved on from Spain, the Volvo Ocean Race moved in just down the coast, where its headquarters remain to this day.

In San Francisco, a project that had been stalled for the better part of a generation was finally moved off the drawing board and completed in time to become the backbone of the America’s Cup Park in 2013. We were privileged to be the first tenant, before handing the building and the site over for the use that was envisaged – a state-of-the-art cruise ship terminal.

Today, it is Bermuda, with plans to expand and transform the Royal Naval Dockyard. Having visited Dockyard for the first time this month, I have no doubt it will be a fantastic site for the America’s Cup. The opportunity to have all of the teams, along with the America’s Cup Village, in one location with views of the entire racecourse is very exciting.

At the America’s Cup Event Authority we plan to open our office in Bermuda in March next year. About a dozen of us will be moving there with our families in the first half of the year.

Oracle Team USA, the defending champion of the America’s Cup, will also be relocating their business, staff and families to Bermuda next year. By May, you should expect to see them operating from their team base set up at the Royal Naval Dockyard and sailing their new foiling wingsailed AC45 catamaran in tests on the Great Sound.

Excerpt from The Royal Gazette: FULL STORY

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