Valencia hopes to host another America's Cup
Bad weather in the Mediterranean has forced the next edition of yachting's premier event to take place elsewhere, but Valencia authorities are hoping the event can eventually return to the city.
Madrid – Authorities in the Spanish port of Valencia, the site of the 2007 America's Cup, are hoping the event can eventually return to the city – if Alinghi retains its title next year.
The Swiss defending champions Alinghi announced in Geneva that the next edition of yachting's premier event will take place in the United Arab Emirates at Ras al-Khaimah in February.
The 33rd edition will be a duel between Alinghi and US challengers Oracle, following a long legal battle over the less usual one-on-one challenge.
As the defender, two-time winners Alinghi had the choice of venue and decided to switch from Valencia, partly because of the time of the year in which they are forced to race – winter and heavy seas in the Mediterranean.
Alinghi representatives contacted Valencia Mayor Rita Berbera to explain that "the weather and sea here in February are not suitable to hold" the event in the city, and they had been "forced to look elsewhere," Deputy Mayor Alfonso Grau said.
But he said if Alinghi wins the race in the UAE, Valencia is hoping the event can return to the port.
He said the city plans to maintain the America's Cup facilities, "at least until March next year, when the winner of the next edition will be known, and if we have the option of the 34th America's Cup."
Authorities in the eastern region of Valencia, meanwhile, expressed regret that the event would not be held in the city.
"It is bad news for this city, which had proved it is a magnificent location" for the America's Cup, the representative of the Madrid government the region said in a statement.
Valencia spent millions to host the America's Cup in 2007. It was the first time in over 150 years that the event was held in Europe.
AFP / Expatica