The America’s Cup Defender, Alinghi, and its yacht club, the Société Nautique de Genève, today announced the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010.
“We are pleased to announce that Ras al-Khaimah, in the United Arab Emirates, will be the Host Country for the 33rd America’s Cup,” said Fred Meyer, Vice-Commodore of the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG). “This is a venue that offers perfect weather and great sailing conditions for a Match in February; the authorities have shown tremendous interest in, and support for, hosting the America’s Cup; and the country has experience in organising first-class sporting events such as ATP tennis, PGA golf and Formula One. They will make a purpose-built island available at the Al Hamra Village in Ras al-Khaimah to provide the America’s Cup teams, sponsors and fans with an outstanding venue.”
Having won the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007 in Valencia with its yacht racing team Alinghi, the SNG is granted the right to choose the venue for the next America’s Cup which is scheduled to start on 8 February 2010.
“Our absolute priorities in making this decision are the prevailing weather conditions and the resulting safety that they bring to both teams,” explains Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth. “We looked everywhere for a venue that suited having good racing for the Match dates in February. We had trained in the UAE in the winter with Alinghi before and in the end we settled on Ras al-Khaimah in particular because of the infrastructure in Al Hamra Village and because it has a great building sea breeze during the day, similar to Mediterranean conditions in the summer, making it good for these boats and safe for all concerned.”
His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras al-Khaimah, expresses his satisfaction: “It is a great moment for us to host the America’s Cup here. It is significant because it reflects how the Emirates have become a place for hosting international events. It is a reflection on what we have achieved in terms of becoming the destination for tourists and trade and industry and is a reflection of our integration in the world at large. This announcement reflects the nature of our country and its aim of becoming host to many nationalities who live side by side in peace. It is a hope and dream that this is the kind of space that we want to have on our globe. It is a great moment for us to host this prestigious event and to welcome all the sports people to the UAE and to Ras al-Khaimah to watch this great event; we are looking forward to its success.”
Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates Selected as the Venue for the America’s Cup, Alinghi.Com, 4 August 2009.
Dr Geoff Pound
Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at)gmail.com on Facebook and Twitter.
Image: A rendering of the America's Cup Village on Al Hamra Island (Photo courtesy of America’s Cup).