Valencia poised for America’s Cup decision
Switzerland’s Alinghi team, the winners of this year’s America’s Cup, are set to name the seaside location which will host the next race in 2007.
The Spanish town of Valencia is among the four contenders on the shortlist, which includes Marseilles, Naples and Lisbon.
Landlocked Switzerland has been searching for a European home to host its defence of the trophy ever since it became the first ever European team to win the cup in March this year.
The decision will be made on November 26.
Valencia has many charms to offer, not least that its shores have already played host to many national and international regattas. It was also the home of the last two Spanish challengers in the America’s Cup.
Jaume Mata, a spokesman for the Spanish bid, told swissinfo that Valencia’s main assets were its ideal sailing conditions.
For the majority of the year, the coastal town enjoys winds of between ten and 15 knots, guaranteeing a good speed for any regatta held in its waters.
The Gulf of Valencia’s other attractions include the water’s depth, its proximity to the coast, the absence of underwater obstacles, the lack of marine currents, as well as excellent visibility, with less than four days of fog a year.
Valencia’s candidature has been jointly financed by local, regional and national authorities, which have clubbed together to form the “Valencia consortium 2007”.
The consortium believes that the project would be of huge benefit to the general public, with the creation of 10,000 jobs and estimated revenues of at least €1 billion (SFr1.5 billion) – as well as plenty media attention.
The project was given rubber stamped by the Spanish government earlier in November after the vice-president, Rodrigo Rato, visited the port personally.
Valencia has another trump card: its tourism industry. With more than 4 million visitors annually, it is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe and already has an excellent hotel infrastructure.
The town also enjoys a temperate climate all year long, enjoying sunshine for 90 per cent of the year.
It also possesses an extraordinary cultural heritage and will soon have completed building a vast arts and sciences complex.
swissinfo, José Wolf in Madrid (translation: Faryal Mirza)
The 32nd America’s Cup will be held in 2007, either in Valencia, Naples, Lisbon or Marseilles.
Several elimination rounds will be held ahead of the cup.
Alinghi is the first European team to have won the competition in the cup’s history.
Weather conditions will be key in selecting the host town, with Alinghi insisting on favourable winds.
The Gulf of Valencia enjoys constant winds of 10-15 knots.
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