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Cork Could See a Mighty Boost from America’s Cup Says Former Munster Rugby Captain

13th September 2021
Boats in Cork Harbour
Cork Harbour is already a boating mecca but could step up a gear if it plays host to the America’s Cup in 2024

Cork Harbour’s ambitions to host the America’s Cup in 2024 have an unlikely champion in former Munster Rugby captain Doug Howlett.

But as the New Zealander tells The Currency, his sporting passions extend beyond rugby into the sailing realm — and he believes the benefits for Cork would be immense if it’s named the host city this week.

Howlett returned to New Zealand in 2019 after a storied career with Munster, winning the Heineken Cup and Magners League before retiring from the pitch to the office as head of marketing.

Mere months after he setted back home in Auckland, the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

But one of the bright spots during the difficult first few months was the 36th America’s Cup, which was won by the home crew of Emirates Team New Zealand and brought two-and-a-half million domestic visitors to the city.

As the winning team, it’s New Zealand’s choice of where to host the next edition of the contest for the Auld Mug.

Auckland was ruled out after its €58 million offer was rejected this past summer, which opened the floor for Cork to table a bid and reach the final judging stage alongside Valencia, Dubai and the Isle of Wight.

Now business leaders in the Cork are convinced that a commitment from Government to spend the €150 million required to stage the event would guarantee its hosting rights, as noted earlier by

And Howlett agrees that the long-term positive impact would justify the costs — with one report projecting a potential €500-million boon to Cork’s economy.

The Currency has much more on the story HERE. (Subscription required.)

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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