Video: Significance & Value Of Hosting AC35

July 6, 2017

America’s Cup Bermuda Chairman Peter Durhager and CEO Mike Winfield outlined the long-term value and importance of Bermuda’s accomplishment in a post event overview, and said that “detailed analysis and economic and social impact reports will be forthcoming in October 2017.”

The 24-minute live video replay is below:

The statement from the ACBDA is below:

Mr. Durhager said, “A small group of dedicated, capable people can achieve great things – that applies to our little team at ACBDA, to those in the community who stepped up to be XL Catlin FirstMates Volunteers, and to Bermuda as a whole. We’ve proven again that we do punch above our weight when we work together, that there is power in a collective unity and hosting the America’s Cup clearly revealed that we can achieve greatness if we set our sights on a shared prize. No one organization led to the success of this, it was truly all of Bermuda coming together for shared success.”

Mr. Winfield added, “The fact that we hosted the America’s Cup, one of only 6 countries in the world to have ever done so in its 166-year history, and then for it to be heralded by the organizing authority and others as the best one ever, this is historically significant for Bermuda. Those larger cities that were competing against us in the bid process, we outshone them then and we proved Bermuda was worth banking on – we far outshone them in presenting the best host venue.

“We have only positive outcomes – economically and socially and for the future of Bermuda’s event tourism brand, the details of which will be delivered in an independent impact study in October.”

High level summary of outcomes:

Emirates Team New Zealand is now the Defender of the America’s Cup. They will announce new protocols for the Cup, working with the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa, in the next month.

  • These decisions will include: Type of boats, the date of AC36, the rules applicable, the frequency and location of events leading up to the 36th America’s Cup, etc.
  • NZ’s Grant Dalton has already praised Bermuda as a venue and our management of the AC35 event and have indicated that they would like to talk to us about bringing an event to Bermuda in the next cup campaign.
  • Other teams will make decisions on their own future based on these NZ decisions and their own funding needs and aspirations, however, it is likely that no teams will remain in Bermuda beyond the fall of this year. Softbank Team Japan, Oracle Team USA and Artemis are packing up now.

ACEA will wind down their team, leaving a core group. The many details and work to be continued between ACBDA and ACEA to complete the event hosting arrangement, will continue over the next several months.

Information on the economic and social contribution of Bermuda hosting the America’s Cup has already begun and will be completed and publicly shared in October 2017. Some of the obvious qualitative positive impacts are:

  • Bermuda received extraordinary visibility on the world stage both through visitors and TV coverage
  • Broadcast to 162 countries by 29 broadcasters with 50 hours of live broadcast and 5.5 billion media impressions
  • Over 450 international media were accredited to attend the 35th America’s Cup. The media centre in the AC Village housed most of them.
  • 159+ million social media impressions
  • 19.5 million Facebook views
  • Over 100,000 people visited the village over the 22 days it was open, 71% from Bermuda, 20.3% from USA, 3.42% from Canada and 2.9% from the UK.
  • 62,315 booked tickets on the dedicated AC Village ferries organized for the event – this pioneered a new online booking feature
  • Some 2,200 boats registered as spectators of the event and as the coverage showed, many were around the race course every day.
  • Some 4,000 people registered for the purpose designed ‘Park n Ride’ program to conveniently park their cars and be shuttled by ferry or minibus straight to the AC Village
  • Public WiFi in the AC Village was delivered to 2,500 concurrent users
  • 30 Megs of capacity for cell phones was delivered on water
  • Bermuda trialed on water WiFi for the first time in the world, through One Communications
  • International data/internet capacity was increased dramatically
  • Broadcast was delivered seamlessly and no significant threats got past our security systems
  • Nine acres of new land was created through infill for Bermuda in 18 months and comprehensive utilities installed.
  • Superyacht facilities were designed and installed, Freeport Drive was completely renovated.
  • AC35 was a catalyst for renovating many Dockyard buildings, a legacy for WEDCO and Bermuda.

Superyachts – 75 visited Bermuda, many for the first time – We surveyed owners/captains and received good feedback about their experience

  • Total visiting boat numbers – over 445 boats
  • Bermuda created new provisions for chartering and cruising – one month before and after the event, allowing Bermuda to assess the new provisions
  • Now developing longer term policy – legislation required – a number of departments and ministries involved
  • Marinas and marina services – new service infrastructure now available, Hamilton Waterfront, Hamilton Princess, Caroline Bay and particularly in South Basin Arm. St. Georges to come

ACBDA engaged with working groups and committees to deliver specific elements of the required deliverables

  • 14 committees were formed, many worked for two years carefully developing plans, testing assumptions, preparing for issues and then delivering on those plans
  • Economic efficiencies were recognized through massive volunteer contributions versus paid staff positions
  • Countless hours were invested, Bermuda owes a large debt to them all
  • The smooth running of the event is proof that every hour spent on planning and anticipating issues and challenges pays huge dividends. If it weren’t for the planning and scenario testing, it would not have been so successful and such an enjoyable experience for all
  • Denise Riviere led a committee created by the ACBDA and immediately formed partnerships with the BEDC team, the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, the Emperial Group and others to support small business involvement and to engage all demographics during the Americas Cup
  • More than 30 Bermudian small businesses – some of them new – were represented in the AC Village
  • AC Licensee products were featured in the AC Superstore retail shop in the Village
  • The food and beverage vendors in the AC Village met the demand of crowds larger than they’d ever experienced, and after initial teething problems on the first day in meeting the volume demands, they all rose to the challenge and received positive public feedback

AC35 marks the beginning of a new chapter in Bermuda’s maritime history

  • Already new regattas have been confirmed for Bermuda – we expect this interest and business to increase
  • Bermuda’s own Red Bull Youth America’s Cup TeamBDA marks a new generation of elite athletes in high performance sailing, TeamBDA made Bermuda proud as they proved they can compete credibly on the world stage. Discussions are underway as to the next steps for the team. TeamBDA could be our national sailing team if private funding is made available.
  • The America’s Cup Endeavour STEAM Education and sailing program will continue, with private funding already secured for another full year
  1. More than 1500 Middle School students enrolled and almost 5,000 students engaged to some degree through school visits and after school programs etc.
  • We have the opportunity now to provide a pathway to performance sailing, starting with AC Endeavour, aspire to America’s Cup and the Olympics.

Platform for future international events

  • AC35 has given Bermuda the credibility to host international events
  • World Triathlon Series with the ITU beginning in 2018
  • Oyster Regatta confirmed for Bermuda 2018
  • Infrastructure in the AC Village – pop up and rented structures – easily taken down and shipped away – but similar structures can also be brought back and set up according to the needs of future events
  • Infrastructure underneath the AC Village is robust and permanent, flexible and available for use: IT, water, drainage, electricity and sewage
  • Cross Island has huge potential, we need to engage the best minds in identifying a vision for the future – it offers a flexible venue that can be used to stage many different types of events beyond sailing

The America’s Cup Bermuda Team

Bermuda was charged with delivering an international event to exacting high quality world-class standards. From the beginning, standards were set high. This could not have been accomplished without the magnificent engagement of the following services:

  • Royal Bermuda Regiment
  • Bermuda Police Service
  • Bermuda Fire & Rescue Services
  • HM Customs
  • St. Johns Ambulance
  • King Edward Memorial Hospital
  • Department of Health
  • Marine & Ports
  • Bermuda Maritime Operations Center
  • Bermuda Tourism Authority
  • Department of Communications
  • Ministry of Economic Development
  • Department of Immigration
  • Department of Planning
  • Government House and through them additional resources from the UK National Policing and Coordination Centre and UK Border Force
  • Approximately 600 volunteers, both local and foreign, who provided essential services from broadcast support, security, guidance, marshal boats and course safety, medical support and back up, Superyacht services, visitor information and guidance
  • Extraordinary coordination was required, melding of all the above into a single Bermuda team. They performed admirably, they made us proud.
  • Joint Agency Coordination Center, a first for Bermuda, coordinated by Controlled Events from the UK and many more

Legacy and Sustainability

  • Examining many possibilities and potentials, will work with WEDCo for future plans and use of facilities
  • ACBDA is now working with departing teams to organize their exit
  • ACBDA will maintain contact with the AC Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand with regard to a future event in Bermuda.
  • ACBDA will produce an event report by September which will detail their work and explain in detail how AC35 was delivered.
  • ACBDA currently plans to wind down by the end of year. Any future will be discussed with new Government.
  • AC Endeavour program won the KBB President’s Award in February 2017 for teaching environmental education and sustainability
  • Oracle Team USA was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation form KBB for the team’s efforts in sustainability and increasing awareness globally
  • 1900 students went through the AC Endeavour Education Station learning about sustainability, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
  • 3,314 students in 10 schools in 16 school assemblies were addressed by team members from Oracle Team USA, Soft Bank Team Japan and Artemis, inspiring them to perform to their best.

America’s Cup Bermuda Chairman, Peter Durhager Remarks:

We are here today to provide an interim update on the 35th America’s Cup while we continue to work on the various reports and impact assessments which we will deliver as part of our transparent assessment of the economic, environmental, social and legacy attributes of hosting this event.

I’d like to begin by formally extending our congratulations to Grant Dalton and all of Emirates Team New Zealand who were near flawless in their execution on the water. The sporting world eagerly awaits news of the Kiwi approach for AC36 and we look forward to continuing to explore any potential role that might make sense for Bermuda.

We acknowledge Oracle Team USA who, as the good role models they are, were appropriately magnanimous in defeat and who have been great neighbors and contributors to our community over these past couple of years. We also congratulate our partners at the Americas Cup Event Authority on a successful event. Sir Russell Coutts and Sam Hollis of the ACEA and of course Larry Ellison as well as Norbert Bajurin, Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, put their confidence in Bermuda and our small team to deliver the best America’s Cup in its 166-year history. Bermuda nailed it.

This journey started in January 2014 with the first exploratory contact from Russell regarding the potential of holding an America’s Cup in Bermuda. As the process became public, there were all kinds of commentators speculating about Bermuda as a stalking horse for the likes of San Francisco or San Diego – surely to be used and cast aside. As we came to understand the vision, alignment with Bermuda’s natural strengths and capabilities and the potential to create real and lasting value for our Bermuda brand and people, we began to see how hosting the AC could make sense for Bermuda, and become a catalyst for much more than a sailboat race. By the time things got serious, the bid process took up much of 2014 and Bermuda was named the Host Venue of the 35th America’s Cup in December. Many were shocked and even more were skeptical.

We then spent the next two plus years planning for and delivering on Bermuda’s promises in the Host Venue Agreement, including the World Series Event in October, 2015, through the final races of the Cup which concluded last week.

Those transformational preparations took place while Bermuda and the world watched. Many believed we couldn’t produce or wouldn’t deliver on time – or on budget. Some worried about whether we could get planning permissions or the support of the environmental community, or be able to source the financing or materials for the construction of Cross Island. How would we get a ship so large into the South Basin? How would we preserve the environmental habitat in surrounding waters? We did all those things, and more.

Others fretted that we would ignore the interests of the wider community or whether we would effectively engage the non-sailing community, youngsters and small businesses. Would the Board of ACBDA be representative? Would our contract tenders be transparent and fair? Would the benefits flow to the stereotypical usual suspects at the expense of others seeking to benefit from the significant expenditure? How could we possibly deliver Cross Island and superyacht marinas in time and how would HM Customs manage with the volume of yachts and visitors? Could we service the demand for transportation to and from the event and across the island? How would we handle security for an event of this scale in today’s world and where would all the sewage go from visiting yachts? Who would care for the turtles? And so on.

Reasonable people can disagree on details but the overwhelming indications are that the event has been successful – for Bermuda’s brand and community – and will continue to drive value into the future. After the data is collected and analyzed we will report back in detail, in October, on the economic, environmental and social impacts of the Cup but I have every reason to expect that it will be consistent with our projections and expectations. We also expect to deliver Bermuda’s commitments well within our overall budget and that our governance, financial transparency and discipline will set the standard for other similar organizations and entities. We will compile our operational plans and learning from AC35 for future reference and summarize the legacy outcomes and benefits.

In the coming months, we will explore how best to continue the America’s Cup Endeavour program which has already touched the lives of literally thousands of young people as well as establish the future course for TeamBDA who have inspired us and awakened in us a national pride unlike I have seen before.

Mike will cover some additional detail in a moment but in addition to AC35, at the same time we also hosted over 400 visiting yachts, including approximately 75 superyachts; the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta, the J-Class Regatta, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Regatta, including our very own TeamBDA, itself a magical story of accomplishment. Bermuda has forever left its mark on a global sport, one of only six countries to ever host the America’s Cup in its 166-year history.

Our experience in hosting AC35 has reinforced for me some important concepts and beliefs which I’d like to share:

  • 1. A small group of dedicated, capable people can achieve great things – that applies at once to our little team at ACBDA, and to our XL Catlin FirstMates Volunteers, but also to Bermuda as a whole. We do punch above our weight when we work together, as hosting the America’s Cup clearly revealed, and we can achieve greatness if we set our sights on a shared prize. But we can also be our own worst enemy and must guard against small town attitudes that hold us back in a global economy and interconnected world.
  • 2. It’s easy to complain or find fault with the work of others… but a lot more satisfying to be part of something positive and uplifting. In the lead up to the Cup, we spent countless hours working on “getting to yes” when the natural tendency was for people to tell us why something couldn’t be done or why our approach wouldn’t work. To keep the positive mojo we all felt during the Cup, we need to shift our mindset and define a clear and compelling common vision, engage our community in the journey and acknowledge and learn from our mistakes. A particular point of pride was watching all the Services [such as BPS, Fire & Rescue, KEMH, St. Johns, Regiment] work closely together in the Joint Agency Coordination Center – and the RBR as they welcomed our guests to the America’s Cup Village and managed the security process. They did us all proud and it really did feel like a big family.
  • 3. Best way to defeat a team is to start them fighting amongst themselves and distracting them from the real job at hand – ACBDA did the opposite – we worked together as a tight and focused team, each having the other’s back to ensure things didn’t fall through the cracks. As a community, let’s learn from our experience in hosting this successful global event and put that to work in making a better Bermuda.

This evening we will have the privilege of recognizing and thanking the many volunteers and professionals who have supported our effort across the various ACBDA committees and functions but I would like to personally thank and recognize the ACBDA Board for their guidance and support as well as ACBDA CEO Mike Winfield and the ACBDA team for their incredible dedication, professionalism and attention to detail. I would like to make special mention of Jasmin Smith from the Government Department of Economic Development who is an incredible role model as a dedicated, competent, hard-working civil service leader, without whom we would simply not have been as successful. I have had the pleasure of working with several high performing teams in my career and you all are inspirational and should be extremely proud of what you have accomplished together.

I would also like to thank the spouses, partners and families of our extended team and volunteers who represent the strength and support behind our accomplishments and without whom we would not be able to make the contributions we do. And finally, the corporate, family and individual sponsors who came together to support Bermuda’s bid and delivery of this world class event.

Thank you.

America’s Cup Bermuda CEO, Mike Winfield Remarks:

While the 35th America’s Cup is behind us, the ACBDA still has much to accomplish and that work is underway. However, I believe it important for Bermuda to recognize just what has been accomplished. As Peter has said, there were many who believed Bermuda was simply not capable of delivering the depth and detail of its responsibilities in regards to the America’s Cup. We have proved those critics wrong and Bermuda needs, collectively, to take a few moments to celebrate on a job well done.

The delivery of the 35th America’s Cup was an opportunity for thousands of Bermudians to come together sharing a common vision with defined budgets and time frames and deliver an event, stretched over many weeks, to world class standards and, in doing so, present Bermuda to the world as never seen before. It gave us a chance to present the Bermuda brand to millions, even a billion people and we delivered on all counts. I believe we all, collectively, need to take some time and celebrate our achievement. While Bermuda moves on with new challenges, it is important for us to recognize just how good we can be when tested and when collectively engaged. Truly, team Bermuda, all of us, however we were involved, have demonstrated we have the skills, capacity and tenacity to deliver to world class standards, indeed to standards that had many saying this was the best America’s Cup in its long history.

Well done Bermuda. Nothing that follows AC35 can be allowed to dilute the pride and satisfaction you can feel and the enormous achievement of what we have accomplished, together, as a community. We are one of only six countries to have ever hosted the America’s Cup and we have set the bar high for future events.

It is important to recognize the process we used to make this happen. First, we started with our commitments that arose from the contract between Bermuda and the America’s Cup Event Authority. That defined our responsibilities. We then elected to reach out and find professionals to lead committees and they in turn brought in both volunteers and the experts relevant to their specific deliverables. Those committees some fourteen in all, then spent many months formulating detailed plans. Those plans were tested, rewritten, tested again and, in the end, became essential elements in the master plan for delivery of AC35. The process is a testament to the strength of planning; invest the hours in preparation and you can eliminate the pitfalls that inevitably arise in delivery. Spend the time conceiving of what could go wrong and plan how to mitigate. This was done and the results speak for themselves. We need to recognize the extraordinary work of the many people who spent so many hours developing and delivering those plans.

We have only positive outcomes – economically and socially and for the future of Bermuda’s event tourism brand. As Peter said, the details will be delivered in a report in October.

The individual game-changers such as the confidence seen in middle school children who participated in the AC Endeavour program and are doing better at school as a result of their increased confidence, are many and will be defined in our summary reports. We have people at work, developing a series of reports that will define the benefits, explain the impacts, environmentally, socially and economically and will further outline both actual and potential legacy opportunities. We aim to have these reports ready by early October. We need to take our time, gather data from a wide cross section of the community. We want these reports to be accurate, real and meaningful and it would be wrong to rush that process.

We realize there are many who are asking, what’s next. As detailed in the attachment we are presenting today, we can already see definitive follow on from the America’s Cup, allow me to mention just a few:

  • Bermuda has produced a world class sailing team at the highest levels in its RedBull Youth TeamBDA. Opportunities will arise from this and the management of the team are already focused on what’s next.
  • The International Moths competition is already booked to return to Bermuda.
  • Oyster boats will be holding their regatta in Bermuda.
  • The World Triathlon Series will hold an event in Bermuda in 2018.
  • Other regattas/events are in discussion – much of this results from Bermuda having established its credibility in being able to host international events.

I also want to draw attention to the way we brought so many entities within Bermuda together. In particular, operating under the unique structure for Bermuda of the Joint Agency Control Center, the Royal Bermuda Regiment, Marine and Ports, HM Customs, Bermuda Police Service, St Johns Ambulance and many others came together as one dedicated team, and day after day, delivered with excellence. Ferry pilots and crews, taxi drivers and others delivered to exacting standards, for weeks. We created a new pre-booking ferry ticket system, Park n Ride, internet and WiFi capabilities were broadened and expanded significantly and Bermuda can boast to be the first country in the world to offer on water WiFi capability. These are just highlights and I urge you all to spend some time reading our attached hand out.

The most important message I think we have to deliver is simply this. We have proven that when Bermudians come together with a collective vision that we can deliver to world class standards. Yet again, proven Bermuda has punched far above its weight, it has defied the naysayers and demonstrated just why we have, as a tiny community in the middle of the Atlantic, managed to capture world wide attention.

I hope we can both take time to celebrate our collective success but also to take a lesson from our accomplishment and understand that, by working together, we truly can overcome any challenge.

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