The Valencia marina stands for daily events, private or corporate organized, bars and restaurants, and many noisy sports events during our three-weeks stay. However, an old fashion Americas cup racer at display drew my interest.
The background story of the America’s Cup was already exciting before the very first racing yacht set sail. Madrid and the local Government in Valencia invested a combined three billion Euros in transforming a small harbor to the needs of the 2007 Cup match. The Cup was meant to become one of the most spectacular for the competitors, officials, spectators, and entertainment. That included a new wide entrance canal that linked the Mediterranean Sea with the marina and provided plenty of space on its sides for spectators.
Outstanding is the America’s Cup Building, today known as Veles e Vents – sails and wind. The British architect David Chipperfield planned and inaugurated it in 2006 and won numerous architectural awards. The concept was that the lower floors have shops and restaurants, while the upper ones are offices. There is nothing on earth quite like this America’s Cup Pavilion, according to a paper. Today, the building hosts restaurants on all levels.
Veles e Vents is worth seeing at night, with its polychrome lighting. The only downside was the emissions of a confused and strident mixture that we finally detected as possible musical noises of the bars around, especially after nightfall.
Back to America’s Cup. Valencia saw two matches. The thoroughly successful and delightful 2007 Cup and later the 2010 ‘Deed Match’ held in winter’s dark and cold grip. With only two teams competing, that race could never hope to reach the heights of 2007. No success in winter? I wonder why?
The financial and marketing success of the regatta was significant in that all teams received a substantial dividend for their campaign costs, which was divided based on their performance during the regatta. The story became different fifteen years later, with Madrid’s central government leaving the tripartite consortium created for America’s Cup regatta. Before the government said goodbye, it had assumed debt of just over 333 million euros.
Madrid believed that their presence in an institution dedicated to enhancing an urban space didn’t make sense. The new consortium generated income by renting offices and collecting concession fees. But that money had always been insufficient to meet the credit. Last year, politicians in Madrid and Valencia agreed to take over the pending debt and release the balance.
With Madrid out, the new investors unsuccessfully bid for a new edition of America’s Cup in 2024. The winning team of the last competition has the right to choose the location. The New Zealanders asked for plenty of money but failed at home already as they had not reached an agreement with their Government in Auckland. The Kiwis opened a search process for a maritime city willing to host the regattas. Spanish promoters told the New Zealanders the Valencian proposal has sufficient private resources. However, America’s Cup winners don’t deal with private investors and insist on the economic support of the city of Valencia and Madrid. The two have been willing to provide infrastructure and administrative support but will not pay the regatta bill again. You see, even or especially in regatta sports, greed for money reigns.