Please select your home edition
Rooster 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Cup Critiqued: Irish back away... Two AC40's for Spain?

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World 14 May 2022 21:17 PDT 15 May 2022
Looking down the River Lee, Cork, with the proposed Race Village area on the rightLooking down the River Lee, Cork, with the proposed Race Village area on the right © Ministry of Sport, Ireland

Second of a new series taking an off-piste view of what isn't said in the media releases from the teams, Cup organisers, other Cup related parties and anything that isn't being done to death elsewhere.

Irish bureaucrats claim venue not ready until 2025

An article in today's Irish Business Post has revealed why Ireland withdrew their America's Cup hosting bid, hours before the announcement that Barcelona's successful was leaked on social media, causing the planned announcement date to be brought forward.

Peter O'Dwyer and Cónal Thomas of the Business Post lodged Freedom of Information requests with the Irish Ministry of Sport to reveal the reasoning for Ireland withdrawing their bid, leaving Malaga, Barcelona nd Jeddah in the race.

An analysis conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Sport claimed that the city centre venue would not be complete until after 2025 - a year after the Cup was due to be contested (now in September October 2024, instead of May june 2024)

"Department of Sport officials reviewing the since-abandoned bid concluded that “hosting in 2024 is not possible and that even an extension to 2025 is laden with risk and most likely to not be deliverable”, says the Irish Business Post

Documents released to the Business Post under Freedom of Information legislation show that the officials’ findings were relayed to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and a number of senior ministers in March 2022, who agreed that the bid should not proceed.

The cabinet members were also warned of the possibility of “protracted appeals” being launched against any development, given Cork Harbour’s designation as a special protected area, documents show.

Furthermore, Ireland’s proposed bid to host the America’s Cup sailing competition would have cost the state more than €180 million, a government analysis found.

The officials’ analysis found a positive cost-benefit analysis of 1.57, meaning the benefits outweighed the costs."

That contrasts with the cost benefit analysis from Auckland being measured at only $0.72c return for every dollar invested and $0.58c for every $1 invested for New Zealand.

The Irish Business Post claims the Irish coalition government abandoned plans to bid for the event earlier this year, after ministers were told that the projected estimated outlay was €181 million, made up of €66 million in capital investment and €115 million in current spending.

An initial report compiled by EY, for Foreign Minister Simon Coveny estimated the cost of hosting the event to be in the region of €150 million with two-thirds of the outlay to be spent on infrastructure projects.

The benefits identified in the EY cost-benefit analysis were pitched at between €400 million and €500 million.

In contrast the PWC report on the Bermuda hosting of the 2017 America's Cup put the cost at €63million with an economic of over USD$5 for every USD$1 invested. Unlike Auckland Infrastructure costs were excluded from the America's Cup costs on the basis they are a legacy beyond the America's cup.

The report commissioned by the New Zealand Government had it that the "cost" of the 2021 America's Cup was around €400million (NZD$774million), however report in the Irish media - apparently based on information from New Zealand had it that the costs could have gone to €600million (NZD$1billion) for an original plan that had the America's Cup bases located much closer to the entrance to Cork Harbour.

The second plan hatched by the Irish Ministry of Sport had the facilities located in the City Centre revitalising the waterfront in a similar way to the three America's Cup hostings in Auckland, and leaving a legacy use. This plan appeared to have the support of the Irish Government before the handbrake was yanked.

Government sources at the time said their internal preliminary estimates put the cost at between €200 million and €400 million, the Business Post reports. However the costing for the City Centre venue came out at €180million - well under the original forecast. The EY report on the Doyles Shipyard proposal projected the investment cost at €150 million

Costs reduce

It now appears the government’s final analysis of the City Centre venue costs associated with the bid were less than the best-case scenario €200 million outlined at the time, coming in between it and the €150 million figure suggested by EY instead.

Like their New Zealand counterparts the Irish bureaucrats appeared to to overlook the fact that under the 2024 AC Protocol, teams were likely to spend 12 months at the venue - given that it was the only permitted sailing venue from June 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023 - with the Challenger Selection Series getting underway in September 2024.

Ministers were also told that delays in delivering the infrastructure required for the event would reduce the amount spent in Ireland by competing teams and reduce the economic benefit to the state.

“It was further noted that even if national planning processes could be expedited, EU environmental law would constrain the pace of development, and this is the opinion of the planning experts consulted,” the documents state. That appeared not to address the usual approach of fast tracking planning process while protecting the public and private rights.

For the full story click here

A decision in favour of the Cork venue had been made two days before the original announcement date of September 17, 2021. However that was changed, and delayed for over six months after the Irish Ministry of Sport claimed they needed another six months to conduct their analysis independently of the EY report. Ireland remained in the mix, however the delay they requested allowed the chosen venue Barcelona, to make a late, but successful bid for the venue hosting.

Spanish to enter Youth and Women's America's Cup

Reports in Spanish media have it that Spain will be entering a Youth and Womens teams in the 2024 America's cup to be staged in Barcelona in September 2024.

Despite entering the 2007 America's cup when it was sailed in Valencia, the Spanish group believes that it is not possible to mount a challenge given the regatta now gets underway in 33 months in late 2024. That is also despite the option of buying a design package from Emirates Team New Zealand which would reduce the campaign cost from NZD$120million to NZD$80million or €48million.

The planned Spanish entry, which appears to be confirmed, gets around the issue of the 2024 America's Cup venue not having any skin in the game, and would kindle interest in the event by Spanish fans.

Spain would appear to have a good base in both the events winning two Bronze medals at the Tokyo2020 Olympics in the Mens 470 and Mens Finn class. Spain also won two Gold medals in the Womens RS:X windsurfer at Weymouth 2012, and in the Womens Matchracing. The Bronze medalist in the Mens 470 class, Jordi Xammar is currently skipper of the Spanish entry in the SailGP circuit - and it is likely that most of a Spanish Youth team would come from that group. Xammar is two years older than the 25yrs old age limit set for the America's Cup Youth event. However Joan Cardona who won the Bronze medal in the Finn class is only 23yrs old. There is no age limit on the Womens America's Cup and they could also draw on the Spanish SailGP team roster.

A formal announcement is expected.

Related Articles

Cup Spy - May 29-30: Light airs plague teams
The Swiss and Kiwi teams were the only Cup teams to train on Monday and Tuesday Alinghi Red Bull Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand were the only Cup teams to train on Monday and Tuesday. The Arbitration Panel has dismissed American Magic's application to be excused from competition in Jeddah at the end of November. Posted on 31 May
America's Cup: Arb Panel dismisses US request
The America's Cup Arbitration Panel dismisses American Magic's application to skip Jeddah regatta. The three man Arbitration Panel has dismissed the Application by the New York Yacht Club's team American Magic to be excused from participation in the second Preliminary Event, part of the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 30 May
America's Cup: Estrella Damm returns for third Cup
As the official sponsor, Estrella Damm will be the competition beer The Antigua Fábrica Estrella Damm in Barcelona has hosted the presentation of Estrella Damm's sponsorship of the 37th America's Cup, which will be held in Barcelona in 2024. Posted on 29 May
Cup Spy - May 27: Emotional reunion for Italians
Emotional reunion at sea with the Amerigo Vespecci, sail training ship of the Italian navy. The Italian team planned an emotional reunion at sea with the Amerigo Vespecci, sail training ship of the Italian navy Emirates Team New Zealand did some damage believed to be electronic related, and their session stopped early. Posted on 28 May
Cup Spy May 25-26: Solid day for Med based teams
The British and Italian teams both had solid training days on the Med. The Swiss had an AC75 day. After losing a day to no wind, the Kiwi two-boat testing started on Thursday. The British and Italian teams also got solid training days on the Med, with both doing speed and match race testing. The Swiss sailed their AC75, including a photoshoot for F1. Posted on 28 May
America's Cup: Predictwind sets up in Barcelona
Predictwind will be establishing the Common Weather Program for Barcelona. It is live now.. The Challenger of Record and Defender (COR/D) have announced that Predictwind, the world's leading marine forecast organisation aimed at sailors at all levels, will be establishing the Common Weather Program for Barcelona. Posted on 28 May
Cup Spy -Special: Kiwis start Match Racing
Emirates Team New Zealand have just wrapped up a match race practice session off Takapuna Beach. Emirates Team New Zealand completed a match race practice session off Takapuna Beach, on Friday. Here's Cup Spy's take having watched most of the session shore-side on the Takapuna Beach seawall - via a pair of Fujinon 14x40 gyroscopic binoculars. Posted on 27 May
Cup Spy - May 24: Robertson joins the Swiss?
The Swiss christen their second AC40, watched by top match racer Phil Robertson. What is his future? Four teams sailed on Wednesday, May 24 from Auckland, Mallorca, and Cagliari. Alinghi Red Bull Racing christened their new AC40-7, and took it for a tow-test off Barcelona. Top Match Racer and SailGP helm, Phil Robertson (NZL) was again present. Posted on 26 May
Cup Spy - May 23: Kiwis hit 50.7kts
Emirates Team NZ was out of the shed before 0630hrs, and set a new speed record of 50.7kts Emirates Team New Zealand had an early start, with a poor forecast which didn't eventuate. The Kiwis set a new top speed of 50.7kts - achieved in a bear-away. Alinghi Red Bull Racing broached twice in top end conditions - self recovering each time. Posted on 24 May
Cup Spy - May 22: Brits at pace, as Italians race.
The AC37 Joint Recon team following the Brits reported them hitting 45kts downwind. Two teams sailed today - Luna Rossa from Cagliari, doing some race practice using a team chase boat as their opponent. INEOS Britannia sailed from Palma, Mallorca. The AC37 Joint Recon team following the Brits reported them hitting 45kts downwind. Posted on 23 May
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTERVisit Pensacola 2023 FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 Bottom