America's Cup- Letter released inviting Rhode Island Venue Bid
by Richard Gladwell on 21 Dec 2010
A letter, dated last Friday 17 December 2010 from Stephen Barclay, lead negotiator BMW Oracle Racing to Keith Stokes Executive Director, Rhode Island Economic Development Corp has been released.
Newport (USA,RI) - 33rd America’s Cup - BMW ORACLE Racing - East Coast Victory Tour - Day 4 BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget http://www.bmworacleracing.com
The polite note would seem to be just a welcome mat for a response from the former home of the America's Cup which hosted Defences, off Newport, from 1930 to 1983, when the trophy was held by the New York Yacht Club.
The letter confirms that the site being considered for the 34th America's Cup is Fort Adams, which will be developed by the State, rather then BMW Oracle Racing as outlined in the venue hosting bid from San Francisco.
It is not clear where it is envisaged to hold the racing, however in the final America's Cup cycles when the competitors were based in adjacent Newport, the America's Cup was some 10 nm offshore - killing any landbased spectator involvement.
San Francisco's bid, by comparison, has the competitors literally starting off the beach in a three laps of the landlocked bay with good onshore viewing for thousands of spectators.
'Over the past week, you have clearly presented why Rhode Island, and Fort Adams State Park, in particular, has the capability to host the 34th America’s Cup, an event that is one of the largest sporting events in the world in terms of economic benefit and mass media audience. In particular, we are impressed with Fort Adams and the possibility of its being the center of public access, use and enjoyment of Narragansett Bay.'
'We are very serious in our intent to move forward with Rhode Island. There is much to do to meet the timeframes we have set. The Golden Gate Yacht Club has committed to other America’s Cup teams that a host city will be announced by December 31, 2010.'
'On our side we must establish the how the teams, visitors and VIPs will be accommodated and how we will raise the necessary corporate sponsorship. You can greatly assist us by advising on the readiness of Fort Adams to complete the necessary public infrastructure improvements to base the teams and hold the event within the timeframes we have discussed with you and your team.'
RIEDC is expected to respond before Christmas to meet the deadline imposed by the Protocol for the 34th America's Cup of a decision before 31 December 2010.
Many of the teams are marking time, awaiting the venue decision before approaching prospective sponsors.
No venues are yet announced for the America's Cup World Series of 13 preliminary regattas, due to get underway in six month's time, in June 2011. That announcement is not expected until February 2011 - just four months before the first event.
The prototype AC45 yacht to be used in the initial ACWS regattas, is in an advanced state of construction at the Core Composites building facility, which doubles as a base for BMW Oracle Racing. The first of the wingsailed AC45's is due for launch in mid-January 2011, in Auckland and will be followed by four others. materials have been purchased for a run of ten boats. Each Challenger and Defence team will have to buy at least one AC45, and probably two, as well as owning up to two AC72's which will be sailed in the final half of the ACWS and America's Cup itself.
Venue negotiations have been underway for ten months, since BMW Oracle won the 33rd America's Cup Match in the 120ft trimaran, USA-17. Other bids to host the 34th America's Cup have been received from San Francisco and Rome.
Once the bids are on the table of the Golden Gate Yacht Club the trade-off points between the three bids will be the public spectacle offered by San Francisco, and steady reliable winds of the Californian City, against the more straight forward and financially viable bids submitted by the other two venues.
For an interview with Sailing World's Stuart Streuli and BMW Oracle's Tom Ehman http://www.sailingworld.com/blogs/way-beyond-kicking-tires!click_here
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