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Ireland Officially Withdraws From Bidding for 2024 America’s Cup

28th March 2022
Racing in the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand last year
Racing in the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland, New Zealand last year Credit: ACE/Studio Borlenghi

As reported earlier on Afloat.ie, the Government has withdrawn Ireland’s bid to host the America’s Cup in Cork Harbour in 2024.

In a press statement this evening (Monday 28 March), the Department of Tourism and Sport confirmed that Minister Catherine Martin and Minster of State Jack Chambers “have today decided not to proceed further in the bidding process to host the 37th America’s Cup”.

It continued: “The America’s Cup is a prestigious and storied event and the Ministers and the Department have spent the last 6 months assessing the feasibility of Ireland hosting the event.

“However, the Ministers have, following consultation with party leaders and colleagues across government, accepted the recommendation from their officials not to proceed with a bid.”

The department said that “while Cork Harbour is potentially a great venue for the event, based on the technical assessment carried out the necessary infrastructural and planning arrangements would not be in place to host the event in 2024.

“An event of the calibre of the America’s Cup brings with it an expectation of excellent delivery; the tight timeframe available prior to the 37th edition of the Cup brought with it a large risk of under-delivery.”

The department said the ministers recognise that hosting the America’s Cup “would have brought positives for tourism in Cork and the wider region”.

It added: “However, it is also recognised that a very considerable amount of expenditure would have been required to deliver the event at a time of major and growing demands on the Exchequer and this had to be taken into account in arriving at a decision.

“The Ministers would like to acknowledge the very positive engagement with Team New Zealand/Origin Sports since this assessment process commenced, and to extend their best wishes to Team New Zealand for the 37th edition of the America’s Cup.”

Ireland began working on a bid to host the 2024 edition of the Auld Mug in January last year, before the last event was even raced, but concerns over the costs involved and political turmoil last summer put a damper on the effort.

The initiative was revived when the deadline was extended by the event organisers and a cheaper proposal was put forward in November 2021, and as recently as last month Cork Harbour was considered to still be in the race.

But hopes were dashed in recent days upon the news that Barcelona has been secretly preparing a bid to host the elite event. Winkie Nixon has more on that story in his Sailing on Saturday blog.

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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