Thursday, August 6, 2009

Local Reaction to America’s Cup Announcement of UAE Venue

Here are some of the initial reactions from writers and spokespersons in the UAE regarding the announcement that the Emirates has been chosen as the venue for the sailing of the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010.

Gulf News reports:

Confirms Capabilities of UAE
“America's Cup defender Alinghi's choice of Ras Al Khaimah is just another confirmation of the belief the international world has in the capabilities of the UAE, according to a top official from the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC).”

Major Event Organiser
"Alinghi has had a good experience with us at the DIMC when they set up their winter training base (in December 2006). And this choice of Ras Al Khaimah now just proves the capability of the UAE in hosting major institutions and organisations such as Alinghi," Saeed Hareb told Gulf News from London.

Huge Benefits
"The benefits for the UAE, the Gulf and the Middle East will be huge. The sport of sailing will get a boost and aspiring sailors from the region will be able to experience first hand how professionals work and sail," Hareb said.

The National highlights:
* The calm waters of RAK which are ideal for fast racing.
* The historic nature—first time the America’s Cup will be held in the Middle East.
* Fears from locals that the race will be overshadowed by a lack of facilities and infrastructure (transport, utilities, power) even though there will be less demand from sailors and support crew as only two teams are competing.

A further report in The National covers the legal wrangling over the venue.

Yet another article in The National speaks of this announcement as a ‘considerable coup’ but reports some doubts from locals as to whether the RAK facilities will be ready in time.

Alaric Gomes, It is a Belief in UAE’s Capabilities, Gulf News, 5 August 2009.
Tim Brookes, Alinghi are Happy with selection, The National, 6 August 2009.
Zoë Griffiths, The Venue is Just the Start of the Legal Wrangling, The National, 5 August 2009.
Tim Brookes, RAK to Host America’s Cup Showdown, The National, 6 August 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Alinghi at a recent race with some of the spectator fleet.