America’s Cup: Returns in Bermuda Exceeding Projections

The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held October 17-18 in Bermuda generated an estimated $8.6 million.
The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held October 17-18 in Bermuda generated an estimated $8.6 million.

The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held October 17-18 in Bermuda generated an estimated $8.6 million – some $6.9 million more than projected – in economic activity according to an impact study.

The Economic Impact Analysis Report was produced by a consultant seconded to America’s Cup Bermuda Lt (ACBDA) by a local accounting firm and represents direct investment into the Bermuda economy.

Approximately $6.1 million, or 70 per cent of the spend was generated from overseas sources.

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Minister for Economic Development Grant Gibbons said: “The actual returns far exceed initial projections. This is clearly a very good result that builds on the overall benefit of hosting the America’s Cup, the teams and all related events.

“We have only focused on economic activity that can be directly attributed to this event and have not considered any secondary spending or indirect economic benefits that might ordinarily be accounted in a full economic assessment. In that light, this assessment can be considered conservative.”

The types of services consumed included hotel rooms; restaurant meals; corporate hospitality events; transportation; other boats; and shopping at the event village and other retailers.

What’s more, the international media coverage reached a global audience of $14.1 million, described by Dr Gibbons as: “A huge positive contribution to Bermuda’s international visibility in major tourism markets.”

Where the total economic impact was underestimated. so too were the net costs — an additional $135,000 was spent by government.

The economic impact was generated from a variety of sources including spending by travelling fans; competitor teams; America’s Cup commercial partners and sponsors; the international media; the general public; the ACEA; the ACBDA; and the Bermuda Government and other taxpayer funded amenities.

Peter Durhager, chairman of the ACBDA, provided additional detail on the breakdown of the report.

Local banks reported an additional $4.7 million in spending during the World Series week compared to an average week in October. To ensure a “fair and prudent” estimate, only $1.3 million of this spend was not included in the final figure of $8.6 million.

More than 10,000 people attended the event village on Front Street throughout the weekend and on the Sunday an estimated 550 boats, carrying about 5,000 spectators, watched the racing action from the Great Sound. About 1,499 visitors, including media and team members came to the island specifically for the event. Hotels enjoyed a 43 per cent increase in revenue compared to a usual October week while some $1.5 million was generated in retail sales.

Mr Durhager acknowledged the volunteers whose contribution was estimated to be worth $600,000 in volunteer hours plus waived fees and charges. The figure was not factored into the final impact but represents a reduction in operating costs.

Mr Durhager said: “This activity, coupled with $14.1 million of value in media exposure, illustrate the significant impact of the event and represents an excellent return on investment.”


Marion to Bermuda Race 2017 start date changed

Marion to Bermuda Race dates have changed in order to accomodate the Bermuda America's Cup.
Marion-Bermuda Race fleet in action
©SpectrumPhoto/Fran Grenon

In an effort to provide the best possible viewing opportunity for the 2017 America’s Cup finals in Bermuda, the Trustees of Marion Bermuda Race have announced that they will move the race start date up one week to June 9, 2017.

This will enable all Race participants to arrive in Bermuda prior to the start of the America’s Cup finals on June 17, 2017.

A survey taken by the Marion Bermuda Race Organizing Committee in the fall showed a very high interest by past race participants to be in Bermuda for the America’s Cup. In keeping with the Race’s mission of supporting youth sailing in both North America and Bermuda, the race will be supporting the America’s Cup Endeavor Program, a community sailing program for Bermuda youth. This program was developed by the America’s Cup Committee to leave a sporting legacy in Bermuda after the America’s Cup.


Bermuda AC news: Oracle Team USA launches third AC45S

Oracle Team USA's third AC45S test platform is christened "Oracle 17" by team member Luciana Corral.
Oracle Team USA’s third AC45S test platform is christened “Oracle 17” by team member Luciana Corral. photo: Sam Greenfield

Oracle Team USA hit another campaign milestone on Monday when the team’s third test AC45S test platform was rolled out of the boat shed, christened “Oracle 17”, and lifted into the water for the first time.

The boat had a new wing stepped on the platform and underwent a series of system checks dockside at the team base in Bermuda.

Boat 3 is expected to sail for the first time in the next suitable weather window.

“There is a big step up with this boat in terms of the systems we are developing and now testing in real world use,” says design coordinator Scott Ferguson.

The new America’s Cup Class boats the teams must design, build and race for 2017 need to be entirely manually powered.

The first two AC45S boats that Oracle Team USA used had partially powered systems to test various components.

However since returning from the Christmas break the crew has been sailing boat two in manual mode.

The systems on board Boat 3 represent another step up in efficiency and effectiveness.

“We think we will see a significant jump in performance with this boat,” said general manager Grant Simmer. “The systems we are testing now will translate directly into the design of the America’s Cup boat we race in 2017.”

Oracle Team USA designers are keeping an eye on the calendar with design deadlines for various components fast approaching.

“The design lock-in dates for the first America’s Cup Class boat are staggered to a certain extent,” Simmer said. “But we are coming up to the time when we need to make some hard decisions.”

Under the Protocol governing the 35th America’s Cup the Challengers are restricted to launching one AC50 (the size of catamaran to be used in the 2017 America’s Cup), which can be launched no earlier than January 1, 2017 – being 150 days before the start of the Qualifiers in Bermuda. The Defender is allowed to launch two AC50s, but must sail the first one launched in the Match. The second AC50 can only be launched one month before the start of the Qualifiers. The teams are allowed to build an unlimited number of surrogate boats, provided thaey use the underwater hull shape of the one design AC45.

Land Rover BAR (GBR) has two AC45S catamarans launched (one under repair), Artemis Racing has two AC45S catamarans, Emirates Team NZ has one AC45S on loan from the departed Luna Rossa (ITA), Groupama Team France has one AC45S. SoftBank Team Japan has one AC45S (also under repair) which was Oracle Team USA’s first AC45S.

Video from May 5, 2015 – ORACLE TEAM USA sails its AC45S for the first time on the Great Sound in Bermuda.

by NZL