Ireland is said to be “more ambitious” with the AC37 Venue hosting bid

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America’s Cup: Ireland is said to be “more ambitious” with the AC37 Venue hosting offer

by Richard Gladwell / Sail-World NZ September 17th 14:22 UTC
September 18, 2021

The AC37 Challenger and Defender – December 2020 – Waitemata Harbor © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com / nz

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Marcus Spillane © 49er

Cork-born, New York-based Marcus Spillane believes Ireland needs to broaden its thinking on hosting the America’s Cup.

Spillane, a director of World Sailing, the world governing body of sport, notes that the 2027 Ryder Cup will take place in Adare, nearby County Limerick – a few years after the scheduled America’s Cup dates in 2023/24.

He believes combining the prestigious golf tournament with the 2024 America’s Cup is a “nice opportunity to take advantage of the two events – so one helps the other and makes it a showcase for Ireland when we leave COVID”.

The America’s Cup and Ryder Cup events also align with the Global 2025 Strategy launched in 2018, now promoted by Secretary of State Simon Coveney, to expand Ireland’s global presence and reconnect with the diaspora of 70 million people around the world who claim to be of Irish descent.

In the past few days, Spillane has said he has been contacted by people asking why the America’s Cup, where Ireland was the preferred candidate, was dragged into the doldrums by the bureaucrats.

“I say we have to be more ambitious,” Spillane told Sail-World from New York. “We really have to think about how we position ourselves in the world. We have to be credible to people who see Ireland as a good place to negotiate.” [for the Cup hosting] and don’t stay at the altar at the last minute. ”

“My point is simple to say – this is a global event. Sure, 150 million euros is a lot of money, but it’s up to us to make the most of it and generate a return. There is no question that if you get it right, you can come back. ”

“We have to look at it with a can-do attitude, rather than without ambition, too costly, and we don’t know if that is a good use of government treasury.”

Spillane, former class president and Olympic 49er class participant. was elected as one of seven vice-presidents in a clean-out at the top of the World Federation of Sports late last year.

The trained auditor specializes in entrepreneurship, business strategy and development in professional life.

“Cork is so ideal for this America’s Cup, and not just for timing reasons,” says Spillane. “Some of the developments that have taken place in the port over the past decade mean that there are perfect setups when Cork is chosen.

“Part of the 150 million euros [Cup hosting price tag] is already planned for the infrastructure expansion projects as part of the America’s Cup. Yes, it would be accelerated, but the spending is already on schedule. ”

“It’s no different, I suspect, than some hand luggage in New Zealand [over the cost of the infrastructure for the 2021 America’s Cup]. ”

“The only people who can stand up to this are the people who are affected – the local people in Ireland who think the America’s Cup would be a phenomenal event.

Following media reports that the venue selection process was in the process of being extended, Spillane said the Irish application team needs to focus on “using the next six weeks to make the most of us giving them all we can.”

“Part of the problem in Ireland is the perception that it is an elite sailing and sailing regatta. What they lack is that the America’s Cup is much more than a global sailing event.

“But that’s not the offer we’re selling – that is, there is two years in advance. The teams that come to Cork, live there, train there, and see the venue, and the things you can do away with the America’s Cup, and not just the sail piece as a stand-alone piece. ”

“I think there is some education to be done there,” he added.

Most of the eleventh hour problems with Irish indecision appear to be embedded in the nation’s political mix. The largest party, the left-wing Sinn Fein Party, is castrated in the political process by a coalition of two center-right parties and the Greens.

“Sinn Fein very much views the America’s Cup as an elite competition, but I think they are smart enough to see that this is an appropriate label for them and that the America’s Cup is an event that could be used. But it suits them in their constituency. ” to mark this in a certain way. ”

“Part of the challenge in the last few weeks leading up to it was getting people to understand that the America’s Cup is a global sporting event.”

In his capacity as president of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes, Spillane was in Auckland in December 2019 for the combined world championships of the three Olympic classes in Auckland. Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their first AC75 under the three Olympic classes on Waitemata Harbor was a common sight.

When asked to overlay that view of the AC75 sailing over the backdrop of Cork Harbor, Spillane replied, “I think that would be great! I know the areas of the track they are planning to race in and it would be really spectacular . ”

Spillane says he is “disappointed” to see the impact COVID has on the 2021 America’s Cup regattas in Auckland. “That doesn’t help if you’re trying to sell the population in the next round. But if it were anywhere else, I would say that Cork would be a magical place.”

“Ireland and New Zealand have a lot in common. Cork would be a nice second option for New Zealand if they couldn’t keep it in Auckland. I’m not part of the Irish bid but I would like to see it go there.” ! ”

“We need to encourage our politicians to think bigger,” he concluded.

Spillane says he has been contacted in the past few days by people asking why the America’s Cup bid, which was considered the preferred candidate, was dragged into the doldrums by the bureaucrats.

“I say Ireland has to be more ambitious. We have to think about how we position ourselves in the world. We have to be credible to people who see Ireland as a good place to negotiate. ” [for the Cup hosting] and don’t stay at the altar at the last minute. ”

“My point is simple to say – this is a global event. Sure, $ 150 million is a lot of money, but it’s up to us to make the most of it and get a return on it. There’s no question that if you do it get it right, you can come back. ”

“We have to look at it with a can-do attitude, not a ‘no ambition, too expensive and we don’t know if this is a good use of funds’ mindset.”

As a side note to Spillane’s comments, the Irish Examiner reports that “Ireland is expected to be notified today that a team of international racing experts is on standby to provide any advice or guidance the state may need.”

In New Zealand, the owners, Emirates Team New Zealand and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, have announced that they are extending the tendering process for venue hosting. No new date has been set. The main reason for the extension is because the country has been in a COVID-19 lockdown for five weeks. Like all non-essential businesses, the team must isolate themselves at home and cannot meet face-to-face.

The team is also hoping to get a few managed isolation and quarantine spots when voting on Monday so that two team members can leave New Zealand with the certainty of returning. The intent is for the team to be able to review the venues and the proposed arrangements before making a decision on the venue.

There is currently no exit strategy from the New Zealand government’s policy of closed borders. Most international sports trips are canceled, most recently the men’s hockey team, which today canceled all tours until at least June 2022 because they cannot re-enter New Zealand with greatly reduced flight schedules due to the lack of precisely aligned MIQ seats.

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