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The America’s Cup: The Formula 1 of the sea

The America’s Cup: The Formula 1 of the sea


Barcelona is currently finalizing preparations for the 37th America’s Cup. It has now been almost two years since Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, will also take part. winner of the last competition, announced officially that Barcelona had been chosen to organize this year’s contest. The long months of negotiations, in which Barcelona Global and its investment attraction agency Barcelona & Partners headed up the efforts of institutions and private investors to work together on a bid to top those of other competing cities, are now well in the past.

Barcelona Global led the conversations to align institutions and private investors and put together a candidacy that managed to prevail over the finalist cities. A success of public-private collaboration that, without a doubt, will have a positive impact on the city.

The event will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Barcelona, which will become the only city to have organized the three sporting events in the world with the greatest economic impact: the Olympic Games in 1992, the World Cup in 1982, and the America’s Cup in 2024.

What’s more, for the first time in the history of this competition, Barcelona will host special events for women and young people: The Puig Women’s America’s Cup and the Youth America’s Cup..

A trophy that is 173 years old

The America’s Cup is the world’s most prominent sailing event and the longest-running international trophy. First held in 1851, it has now been running for an impressive 173 years. Considered one of the toughest challenges in sailing, the competition involves challengers for the trophy seeking to defeat the defending club.

Under the elimination regatta system, any yacht club that meets the requirements specified in the ‘Deed of Gift’—the document that sets out the competition rules—has the right to challenge the defending club, which in Barcelona is the Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), winner of the 2021 36th America’s Cup. There is no second or third place in the America’s Cup. You either win or you lose.

Choice of venue

The defending champion gains the right to decide where the event is to be held and what kind of boat is to be used.

Only 4 countries in total have won the America’s Cup: the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. And only 9 cities have hosted it: Cowes, on the Isle of Wight (United Kingdom); New York, Newport, San Diego, and San Francisco (United States); Perth (Australia); Auckland (New Zealand); Valencia (Spain); and Hamilton (Bermuda). Barcelona is to be the tenth.

Why Barcelona?

The regatta organizers were impressed by the quality of the port facilitiesthe variety of spaces for the competition, the city’s experience in hosting major sporting events, locals’ love of water sports, and the city’s range of educational and leisure activities.

They were also attracted by the city’s ideal location, its organizational experience, and its appeal to teams, public, sponsors, and television companies. Another of the most important aspects was the support of both private and public sectors, with the public institutions all supporting the initiative.

Social and economic impact

According to the Barcelona Capital Náutica foundation (FBCN), the 37th America’s Cup will generate some 19,000 jobs and 1,200 million euros.The last competition, the 36th, was viewed by an impressive 941 million spectators, generating some 832 million euros.

Even more important, however, is the boost it will give to the blue economy, a new economic sector that the city has been investing in for some time.It will also help to accelerate the digitalization and decarbonization of the marine sector. One of the projects underway is the development of hydrogen engines for the support boats, which will be used in this competition for the first time.

For both Barcelona and Catalonia, the America’s Cup represents a major opportunity to create a lasting legacy.

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