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America’s Cup Bermuda open for business

Dr Grant Gibbons with the America’s Cup on its arrival for a snap visit to Bermuda this month (Photo by Akil Simmons)

A new firm has been set up by Government to help run the America’s Cup yacht races.

The new limited liability company — to be called ACBDA Ltd — will work closely with the event’s ruling body, the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), in the run-up to the 2017 finals.

“In the lead-up to the venue announcement, Bermuda had a group of very committed individuals — a very capable team — that successfully bid to bring the America’s Cup event to Bermuda in 2017,” Dr Grant Gibbons, the Minister for Economic Development, said.

“But now we have a different job to do. We need a focused administrative organisation that will work closely with the America’s Cup Event Authority on the management and supervision of our responsibilities as the host country.

“ACBDA Ltd will play a critical role in delivering on our obligations and making the America’s Cup happen.”

He added that more details on the structure, organisation and operation of the new company, which was gazetted under the Companies Act last week, will be released later.

But he added: “It’s a facilitation group, it’s a host group in a way, to assist the ACEA to host these events.”

Dr Gibbons said: “We needed a structure that was more substantial and company structures are well understood in terms of how they function and it was possible to set up a company quite quickly.

“It will help as a liaison, for example, to assist teams that will be coming in as part of the America’s Cup events.”

And he explained that ACBDA will work with Wedco, which runs Dockyard, to ensure it was ready for the event and also with the Corporation of Hamilton to guarantee smooth sailing for the America’s Cup series races due to be held in October next year.

Dr Gibbons said: “It might work with others to assist with, for example, getting appropriate Government permissions in areas like planning.” The new company will be similar in structure to the existing Bermuda Land Development Company and will have only one shareholder — the Government. Crew members, representatives of the ACEA and others connected with the events will begin to move to Bermuda in early 2015, as they practise and prepare for professional racing commencing in Bermuda waters from October 16 to 18 with the America’s Cup World Series.

Dr Gibbons told the House of Assembly this month that it was important to set up a framework for the event to ensure that Bermudians would be able to benefit from the prestige racing event.

ACBDA is expected to be up and running by next month.

The ACEA has scheduled a series of racing events in Bermuda beginning with the America’s Cup World Series. Other events will include the Youth America’s Cup in 2017, the America’s Cup Challenger Play-offs 2017, the America’s Cup Concert Series 2017 and the America’s Cup Super-Yacht Regatta 2017, leading up to the finals, to be held in June 2017.