SailGP plans for former AC35 base
Plans for yacht racing to return to the former home of the America’s Cup have been submitted to planners.
Proposals submitted to the Department of Planning outlined a range of temporary buildings to create a race village for the SailGP competition.
The number of spectators allowed on the site for the international event will be limited to 650 – 500 ticket holders and 150 guests – as part of a precaution against Covid-19.
The application seen by The Royal Gazettesaid: “SailGP recognises the importance of measures required to carry out sporting events in the Covid-19 era.
“To this end they have developed their Covid-19 SailGP strategy to deal with the season as a whole, and to particularly ensure that the requirements of Bermuda’s Covid-19 regulations are met.”
The Bermuda Grand Prix – which will feature sailing teams from Australia, Denmark, France, Britain, Japan, New Zealand and the US – will be held on April 24 and 25.
But the teams are expected to be at Cross Island between March 22 and April 23 for pre-race training.
A total of 118 team members will travel to Bermuda for the event, as well as 67 technical service staff and 60 operational service workers.
The event will also feature 50 volunteers, 30 staff for vendors, ten emergency service workers and 45 broadcasters.
Competitors will stay at the Hamilton Princess Hotel, along with most of the technical staff and operations staff, but 30 will live at Prince Alfred Terrace in Dockyard.
The application said: “Transportation from the airport to accommodation for SailGP members will be via taxi or private shuttle, according to the established Government of Bermuda Covid-19 protocols for arriving visitors.
“Following quarantine and clear arrival test results, transportation in Bermuda will be via a number of options.
“No persons in any of the working bubbles will be permitted to use public transport – all persons in working bubbles will use private road transport or private boat transport.”
Off-site parking was used for the America’s Cup but the size of the SailGP event means parking areas will be provided on nearby Cochrane Road.
The proposal said: “The parking areas are currently partially overgrown from non-use, but will be cleared and graded for parking.”
Several temporary structures were proposed for Cross Island, including eight tents for team bases, a media centre, a race viewing area, a presentation stage and a food and drinks area with a pair of tents.
Two cranes will also be brought to in to launch and retrieve boats.
Work on the site is expected to be carried out between March 8 and March 11 and the site would be cleared between April 26 and May 2.
The Bermuda Grand Prix will broadcast live in the United States and Canada on CBS Sports and in Britain on Sky Sports, and the event will get exposure in more than 150 countries.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority is the partner of SailGP’s inaugural Bermudian event and, as part of the commitment, will have first option to renew for return engagements in 2022 and 2023.
The BTA said the event alone could generate up to $8 million for the Bermuda economy – but combined with the month-long training period, the total amount could hit $23 million.