Yesterday, 7 April 2004, 18 America's Cup Teams concluded a three-day session of organisational meetings in Valencia, Spain with a clear vision of how the 32nd America's Cup would proceed.
Michel BONNEFOUS, the CEO of AC Management, the organiser of the 32nd America's Cup, closed the three-day workshop of meetings with the observation that America's Cup racing would begin on the 5th September, 2004.
"The exciting milestone today is that we are now less than five months away from the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act 1 of the 32nd America's Cup. It is tremendous to think that there will be America's Cup racing in such a short time,"
For the past three days, AC Management has been in discussions with 18 America's Cup Teams, representing nine countries, about a variety of topics relating to the sport, marketing, and logistical aspects of the 32nd America's Cup.
"We wanted to take this opportunity to give the Teams preparing for the 32nd America's Cup an update on the progress achieved so far, and an overview on what the 32nd America's Cup will look like,"
Bonnefous explained. "Of equal importance, we wanted to open a dialogue with the Teams, to listen to their input, and to collect feedback from them, our most important stakeholders."
Bonnefous was joined at the press conference by José SALINAS, the CEO of Valencia 2007, and Dyer JONES, the Regatta Director of the 32nd America's Cup, along with the Defender, Alinghi, and the two official Challengers, Oracle BMW Racing and the Clan Des Team.
Salinas explained the massive transformation scheduled for the Port of Valencia, in order to prepare for the America's Cup. Work will begin shortly, and the Port will be ready to accommodate Teams as of the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts in October. Team bases will be available for occupation from Spring 2005.
"All of the services related to relocation, immigration, work permits, taxes, etc. have been outlined and detailed to the Teams present,"
Salinas said. "Valencia 2007 and ACM will continue working hand in hand to develop the best possible infrastructure for the 32nd America's Cup."
Regatta Director Dyer JONES spoke about the sports programme for 2004 and beyond, and gave details about the Meteorological Data System (MDS) a shared weather data system that will make the weather over a small portion of the Mediterranean Sea the most analysed 'microclimate' in the world.
"The MDS programme is a tremendous step forward for the Teams, and will result in really significant cost savings for them. In the past, many teams would each spend well over EUR$1.5-million to obtain essentially the same data,"
Jones explained. "We will soon begin the process of gathering and then distributing to the participants meteorological data so that over the coming months and years each team will have a huge amount of analytical data from which to make decisions regarding the designs of their boats and the conditions under which they will be sailing."
This consolidated weather data programme was just one of many initiatives discussed at the Teams meetings this week at the Palacio de Congresos in Valencia.
"On behalf of ACM, I would like to publicly thank all of the Teams along with our partners, Louis Vuitton and Endesa, for their energy, their input and their enthusiasm for what we are trying to accomplish,"
Bonnefous concluded. "We know that the 32nd America's Cup is a partnership that cannot succeed without them."
Racing begins in the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act on the 5 September.