Coutts praise for island’s can-do attitude’
Sir Russell Coutts, the America’s Cup Event Authority chief executive, has given the developers of the America’s Cup Village in Dockyard a huge vote of confidence.
Work on the nine-acre infill in the South Basin site is way ahead of schedule, with the final load of seven shiploads of granite having been deposited, and the next phase of installing sheet piles along the perimeter to commence this month.
“That’s a first in my experience for the America’s Cup,” Coutts said. “I’ve never heard of the America’s Cup Village being ahead of schedule, so big tick for Bermuda there.
“It’s a first because there’s always difficulties and no doubt the people here have had some difficulties along the way.
“But, I must say, there’s an incredible attitude of being able to overcome those problems in a sensible way, and that’s what I’m sensing and witnessing here in Bermuda, and it’s great. It’s a can-do attitude here and we are seeing it with the development of the America’s Cup Village.
“The fact the America’s Cup is here and all of the positives around it, it’s great to be able to help bring that to Bermuda. By the same token, I think the America’s Cup is really fortunate to have Bermuda as well.
“The Bermudian community is very, very enthusiastic, very supportive and it’s great to work in an environment like that.”
The nine-acre infill will be created with 310,000 cubic yards of aggregate once the land reclamation phase of the project is completed later this year.
Once completed, the purpose-built event village will offer what officials say will be “an unparalleled viewing experience” along with infrastructure to support and service the sailing teams and spectators.
“I think there’s tremendous progress already and by the middle of this year much of the America’s Cup village will be finished and the most exciting [thing] is yet to come,” Coutts said.
Bermuda will host the America’s Cup qualifiers, challenger play-offs and America’s Cup final between May and June 2017.
Meanwhile, the preparations of the teams will intensify this year as the 35th America’s Cup draws nearer.
“Just as you are seeing the facilities ramping up here, Bermudians are going to see a lot more of the teams arriving here and practising in earnest, even these early months in 2016,” Coutts said.
“Softbank Team Japan is already sailing there boat, Oracle Team USA is about to launch their second boat soon, Artemis Racing is about to start sailing their two boats soon, so pretty quickly the Great Sound is going to be crowded with America’s Cup boats.
“That, in itself, is going to be a big change for the locals once that starts to become a regular activity and even the amount of new people arriving on the island.”