America’s Cup a renaissance’ for Island
The America’s Cup will provide sustainable community programmes that will benefit all sections of the community long after the final race has been run.
This was the message from Peter Durhager yesterday as the ACBDA chairman presented the Chamber of Commerce with an update on preparations for the sailing spectacle.
Mr Durhager outlined a string of developments that had already taken place in the West End as teams prepare for the World Series later this year as well as the main event in 2017.
But he also highlighted several initiatives, including the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths programme (STEM), the community sailing programme and community outreach classrooms that are designed to benefit young Bermudians and wider society.
“We want to get these children and the community experiencing something much bigger than a sail boat race.
“The race is going to be an amazing spectacle but this is about so much more; it’s a renaissance for our community.
“This is about creating transactions, and our economy requires transactions to thrive. If taxi drivers are driving more people that is good, if people are renting more homes then that is good.
“We want to have this touch as many people in the community as we can.”
Mr Durhager said that 38 Bermudian firms and 189 Bermudian workers had been involved in the $4.7 million project to establish the Team Oracle camp in Dockyard.
He also revealed that organisers were looking at the possibility of holding a superyacht regatta in Bermuda to coincide with the America’s Cup in 2017.
“Things are really starting to happen,” said Mr Durhager. “Artemis are putting up their camp now; by the end of this year they will have a full-time permanent base with about 80 to 100 people living, spending, having children in school in Bermuda.
“Ben Ainslie is looking to construct a winter training base later this year and Japan is going to be here in the next few months.
“This should all produce a big upside to Bermuda and we need to get that right.”
Mr Durhager acknowledged that the construction of the America’s Cup village in the South Basin could prove the biggest challenge in the coming months.
He said “We are looking at a few options when it comes to finding the reclaimed land and trying to figure out what is the optimal infrastructure to build. We are looking at various alternatives from dredging the south and north channels to bringing in granite from Nova Scotia.”
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