City Hall stands on alert for World Series

  • Donal Smith

    Donal Smith

Corporation of Hamilton officials are in no position to shed more light on their involvement in the America’s Cup World Series next year.

The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) announced last month that Bermuda will host a World Series in October 2015, with team bases and a public race village to be set up along the Hamilton waterfront.

Donal Smith, the acting Mayor of Hamilton, said that he and his colleagues at City Hall are still waiting for Government to disclose plans for next year’s event — to be held from October 16 to 18 — once they have been given the green light to do so by the ACEA.

Due to a non-disclosure agreement with the ACEA, the Bermuda Government is prohibited from making unauthorised comments on the 35th America’s Cup.

“We are waiting for the Government to contact us, as we are the stewards for the city and for city property,” Mr Smith said this week. “We anticipate that it will not be too long before they reach out to us.

“With the non-disclosure agreement that the Government has, obviously we would want to abide in that same vein that we are not going to speak outside of not knowing and we are still waiting on the Government to discuss how we can assist going forward.

“We are not privy to the talks they are having, but obviously we would have to sanction it [America’s Cup World Series].”

The Great Sound is the favourite as location for World Series racing, but, in a recent interview, Dr Grant Gibbons, the Minister for Economic Development, who is spearheading Bermuda’s bid to host the America’s Cup, said that Hamilton Harbour “cannot necessarily be ruled out”.

“If the races were to be held in Hamilton Harbour, it would be massive,” Mr Smith said. “Can you imagine the impact and the optic that the city, in particular, would experience?

“We do believe that this is a great thing, not only for the city, but for Bermuda. And, as the acting Mayor, we need an entire buy-in from the people of Bermuda because we will be in the spotlight. Bermuda needs to be in the spotlight more, particularly internationally, as we build the economy back up.

“Bermuda’s waters are going to be exciting and we can’t wait to assist wherever we can in regards to hosting this event.”

The World Series is the first stage of competition in the America’s Cup. Featuring all of the teams racing in one-design AC45 wing-sail catamarans, including defender Oracle Team USA, the circuit is an early opportunity to put points on the board that carry forward into the qualifiers in the early part of 2017.

Last week the Associated Press, quoting an anonymous source, reported that a decision on the venue for the final had been made, while San Diego Tourism Authority CEO Joe Terzi confirmed to the U-T San Diego newspaper that the 2017 America’s Cup has been awarded to Bermuda.

An official decision on the final venue will be announced on December 2 in New York.

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Published Nov 26, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 26, 2014 at 1:23 am)

City Hall stands on alert for World Series

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