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Cork Harbour Steering a Course to Stage 2024 America's Cup

24th July 2021
Cork Harbour's bid to stage the 2024 America's Cup has been 'exceedingly well received'
Cork Harbour's bid to stage the 2024 America's Cup has been 'exceedingly well received' Credit: Studio Borlenghi

Cork Harbour's goal to host the America's Cup is understood to be a step closer after initial assessments in June saw the Irish venue as a 'strong possibility'.

It appears more unlikely that the next AC 37 will not be staged by Cup defenders New Zealand on its home waters, as the event could not be justified again in Auckland in 2024.

The Cup winners are seeking alternative cities to stage the event worldwide, and several countries expressed interest as Afloat reported here.

America's Cup fans watch the action in AucklandAmerica's Cup fans watch the action in Auckland Photo: Studio Borlenghi

In the latest update, Cork Harbour is understood to be in a 'leading position' after an initial assessment by the organisers was 'exceedingly positive'.

Afloat contributor Maurice O'Connell, who has been following the bid process, says Cork is 'down to the last two cities' on a shortlist of alternatives.

O'Connell explained on this week's RTE Seascapes Radio show that part of the problem for the Kiwis was that they sailed into an economic storm in the New Zealand capital.

They expected eight teams to compete for the cup but got just three.

Nevertheless, the event attracted massive viewing figures of close to 900m from around the world.

Cork Dockyard

If the event gets the green light, Cork Dockyard has been earmarked as the likely lead infrastructure in the Harbour, according to O'Connell.

It's a ready-made 44 acres site that has all that is needed for an America's Cup village including a deep water berth.

2024 America's Cup destination? It is estimated 55 to 70 superyachts would visit Cork Harbour before and during the 2024 Cup which would be a significant local spin-off from the event. 2024 America's Cup destination? It is estimated 55 to 70 superyachts would visit Cork Harbour before and during the 2024 Cup which would be a significant local spin-off from the event. Photo: Bob Bateman

O'Connell says the government will be required to make an initial investment, but there's potential for a significant return to the nation, economically.

In June, in response to questions about Cork's Cup bid, a spokesman for Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney said, “Mr Coveney attended a number of briefings and presentations on the excellent facilities and sites Cork City and Harbour has to offer for major international tournaments" but would make no other comment. 

As Afloat also previously reported it is likely any bid has to beat NZ’s already rejected €58M offer.

It is estimated 55 to 70 superyachts would visit Cork before and during the 2024 Cup which would be a significant local spin-off from the event. 

Grant Dalton, the chief of winning team Emirates Team New Zealand, will decide on the 2024 Cup venue this September.

The America's Cup, the pinnacle of yachting, was first contested in 1851 making it the oldest trophy in international sport, predating the modern Olympic Games by 45 years. It is a competition in which Ireland has a rich past but as Afloat's WM Nixon noted in February, Ireland's eight America's Cup Challenges are now remote history.

Published in America's Cup
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