Will Bermuda get the next AC?

Even when Oracle seemed to be about to challenge the Kiwis – they just never really got there.

While the venue for the next America’s Cup is more than likely to be Down Under in New Zealand, the BTA hasn’t given up on becoming the regular venue authority for the AC…

Top of the Bermuda list, according to Kevin Dallas, the fairly recently installed chief executive of the Bermuda Tourist Authority (BTA), is “actively vetting the feasibility” of hosting events that will include superyacht and J Class regattas, similar to those that took place during the recent AC35. “The 2017 superyacht regatta attracted about twice the number of entrants that raced in San Francisco during the 34th America’s Cup, while the convergence of eight J Class boats in Bermuda was the largest gathering in history,” said Dallas. The BTA also said it plans to recommend the Bermuda Parliament initiates legislation to incentivise superyacht owners to take their boats to Bermuda. Apparently, 68 superyachts visited Bermuda last year. And more than 80 superyachts visited Bermuda during the America’s Cup alone.The Bermudans, of course, made it very easy for superyacht owners to make the journey to Bermuda, with somewhat relaxed legislation guaranteed to excite the already millionare owners in their pocket areas.

As well as reduced berthing fees, the already pampered rich owners were given encouragement along the lines of VIP access to everything from the opening AC35 ceremony and a team pit lane to the race itself and post-competition press conferences. The owners – probably already encouraged by their skippers – were happy to oblige. So it came to be the skippers  set sail for Bermuda to moor there as long as the owners wanted them to. The Bermudan economy must have taken a rapid step upwards. Mr Dallas agrees the rules relaxation paid off, offering the already very rich owners a huge incentive to regard Bermuda as a welcoming base for the mega-rich and their already bordering on very rich skippers. And it won’t end there, says Dallas, suggesting the Bermudan Parliament is likely to create a similar superyacht environment on a permanent basis.

As a sop to the locals, charter operators already operating in the region will also be protected. But will the disappearance of the America’s Cup Down Under ruin everything Bermuda had been waiting for? Probably not. Bermuda’s probably the kind of place the usual grillionaire visits on a regular basis. The only problem might be Bermuda’s not a huge place. And a regular visitor might soon get fed up with the same old same old…

Unless, of course, the Kiwis decide to offer the America’s Cup to Bermuda on a regular basis. Stranger things have happened. Especially when there A Lot Of Money involved. Within hours of  Emirates Team New Zealand winning the 35th America’s Cup, the 36th America’s Cup was taking shape with Italian syndicate Luna Rossa confirmed as Team New Zealand’s Challenger of Record…

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