Minister Gibbons Provides America’s Cup Update

July 4, 2017

With the conclusion of the 35th America’s Cup, which saw five weeks of intense racing and Emirates Team New Zealand besting the field to win, Minister of Economic Development Dr. Grant Gibbons provided the following update to the public.

Minister Gibbons said today, “Heartfelt congratulations must again be extended to Emirates Team New Zealand on their magnificent win and sincere appreciation goes to all of the superb teams who participated in the 35th America’s Cup.

“Without a doubt, Bermuda has never hosted an event of this magnitude, and our success has already put us in an excellent position to host future international sporting and leisure events of similar scale.

“Although it is understood that AC36 will be held in New Zealand, decisions by teams, including the location of their bases, will be influenced by the timing of AC36, the style of boat and other race protocols for potential World Series events and races leading up to the finals. It is anticipated that announcements regarding AC36 will be made by the new Cup holder over the next weeks and months.

“But AC35 is now over and all the teams will enjoy a well-earned rest. Emirates Team New Zealand, Team France and Land Rover BAR will depart Bermuda by the end of July. We would like to give Oracle Team USA, Artemis and Softbank Team Japan the ability to maintain some presence in Bermuda even if it is substantially scaled down.

“This may require legislative amendments to continue existing concessions provisions. ACBDA is working with departing teams to facilitate their exit and will continue to liaise with the other teams regarding their future plans.

“America’s Cup Event Authority [ACEA] is winding down their operations, leaving a small team in Bermuda. There are details that need to be addressed by ACBDA and ACEA, and this work will continue over several months.

“The decommissioning of temporary structures in the Event Village and along Freeport Drive has already begun, and we envisage the Cross Island site being clear by the end of September. Pop-up structures can always be brought back and tailored to meet the needs of future events. The new infrastructure underneath Cross Island is permanent, flexible and available for future use. This includes IT, water, drainage, electricity and sewage.

“There has been much speculation about the economic impact of AC35. Information on the America’s Cup contribution to Bermuda and Bermuda’s economy has already begun to be collected. ACBDA hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent economic impact study for completion by October 2017.

“This study will also discuss social and environmental impacts and is comparable to the studies completed by previous America’s Cup host venues, such as San Francisco and New Zealand. Additionally, ACBDA will produce an event report by September that will detail their work and describe how AC35 was delivered. ACBDA currently plans to wind down by the end of the calendar year.

“Some information about AC35 is already available. I am pleased to note that through this prestigious sailing event, Bermuda received extraordinary visibility on the world stage as the Cup was broadcast to 162 countries with millions of people watching. This is only a snapshot. More details about Bermuda’s media exposure will be released as part of the final assessment report. Over 100,000 people visited the Village over 22 days, there were 62,315 booked tickets on the special AC ferries alone, and some 2,000 boats registered as spectators of the event.

“Bermuda hosted over 460 visiting boats, with over 80 of them being superyachts. We received extremely positive feedback from the owners and captains of these boats, some who had never been to Bermuda before. As a result of this success, we have been developing a long-term superyacht policy and legislative framework. Another positive feature of AC35 has been the development of new marinas and marine services at the Hamilton waterfront, Hamilton Princess, Caroline Bay and the facilities at South Basin in Dockyard.

“Small Bermudian-owned businesses also benefitted from AC35. ACBDA formed partnerships with the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, the Imperial Group and others to support small-business involvement during the events. More than 30 Bermudian small businesses, some of them new, were represented in the AC Village, and our food and beverage vendors enjoyed a huge volume of business.

Minister Gibbons concluded, “Now it is time to look to the future. We saw new sailing regattas come to Bermuda, and we expect to see more. Our Red Bull AC Youth Team, composed of a new generation of sailing talent, proved they can compete successfully against the best young sailors in the world. Discussions are currently underway as to next steps for the team. In addition, the Endeavour Sailing Programme has been privately funded through 2018.

“Bermuda was chosen to host the greatest race on water, with the finest sailors in the world racing the fastest boats ever to race in the America’s Cup. In front of thousands of fans in Bermuda, and millions more worldwide on TV and online, Bermuda delivered a first-class event that has benefitted Bermuda now and in the future.

“This could not have been accomplished without the magnificent engagement of a host of organisations. For three years the ACEA has been a strong partner of ACBDA. We would like to thank them for all they’ve done to help put Bermuda on the world stage. In particular, thanks go to Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts for their faith in Bermuda.

“Hosting AC35 would not have been possible without the extraordinary support of many organisations, businesses, residents and volunteers, including the following:

  • The Joint Agency Coordination Center
  • Royal Bermuda Regiment
  • Bermuda Police Service
  • Bermuda Fire & Rescue Services
  • HM Customs
  • St. John Ambulance
  • Bermuda Hospitals Board
  • Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority
  • The Cabinet Office
  • Department of Health
  • Bermuda Regulatory Authority
  • Department of Marine & Ports Service
  • Department of Parks
  • Transport Control Department
  • Department of Public Transportation
  • Bermuda Maritime Operations Center
  • Bermuda Tourism Authority
  • Attorney-General’s Chambers
  • Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation
  • Department of Information and Digital Technologies
  • Department of Communications
  • Ministry of Economic Development
  • Ministry of Public Works
  • Ministry of National Security
  • Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority
  • Department of Immigration
  • Department of Planning
  • Government House and their partnership with the UK National Policing and Coordination Centre and UK Border Force;
  • BAMZ and
  • Approximately 600 volunteers, both local and foreign, who provided essential services including broadcast support, security, marshal boats and course safety, medical support, public health, superyacht services, visitor information

“AC35 required extraordinary coordination and collaboration to be such a spectacular success. These volunteers became yet another Bermuda team that performed superbly and demonstrated what Bermuda can accomplish by working together.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Onion Juice says:

    I just love how these people make things sound good while wiping egg off their face.
    Must have learned from de Trump Administration.

  2. Tony Brannon says:

    Bermuda stepped up and delivered a world class event. So many people involved in so many areas of business and services that were required to execute this flawlessly executed sporting spectacle.

  3. Navin Johnson says:

    the greatest event ever held in Bermuda……very proud at the way we responded….amazing from start to finish…..

  4. Brendall says:

    I’m suspicious how we paid for this. I can’t wait for a complete economic review of how the AC35 affected our economy both in the long term and short term. Plus how the money was spent and how we got that money. Our debt has doubled in 5 years, and we’ve seen debilitating cuts to educate. How do we have the money to host this event? Hmmm… who does our government care about?

    • Your joking says:

      Or you could just ask the people of Bermuda like the taxi drivers who banked over $4000 in 7 days….and others who were willing to work that little bit extra to achieve the benefits

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Debilitating cuts to educate ? Isn’t the education budget larger now than it was in 2012 ? That’s not a ‘debilitating cut’