America’s Cup bid

 

Sir, – Your front-page article “Coveney faces resistance over America’s Cup bid” (September 14th) did not do full justice to the potential positive impacts of this event on Ireland.

It is incorrect to describe the event as a yacht race. When the event was last held in New Zealand in 2021 it extended over several weeks, with the races to select the challenger being scheduled over four weeks in January and February and the final cup races between the Italian challenger and the New Zealand holder scheduled in March. The New Zealand team won the event by seven races to three and were watched by a large worldwide audience.

Should Ireland be awarded the event, it is likely that the teams would start coming here in 2022 to prepare themselves and their high-tech machines for the weather and sea conditions in Cork.

Their presence would have significant spin-offs for Ireland, particularly in areas such as carbon fibre manufacturing and sophisticated computer systems, not to mention having many of the world’s best sailors, including myriad Olympians, living here for several years. The 2024 event is also expected to include women’s and youth’s events in scaled-down (and cheaper) versions of the 75-foot leading edge craft that will race for the America’s Cup itself – the oldest trophy in sport.

The organisers have pledged to facilitate teams from the host country in these events – a fantastic opportunity for our young high-performance sailors, female and male. The last event in New Zealand is reported to have attracted over 68 million TV viewers. It is likely that this would be well exceeded if the event were held here due to our time zone and our proximity to large population areas.

As a tax payer I would be wary about spending €150 million to attract any event here, but if the cost:benefit analysis being carried out by E&Y concludes that hosting the event will have benefits for Ireland that well exceed that figure, then it would be a pity if political vindictiveness over errors made relating to a minor UN appointment was the factor that scuppered it. Very Irish!

– Yours, etc,

COLM BARRINGTON,

Dalkey,

Co Dublin.