Thursday, July 18, 2024
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InicioRegattaAmerica's CupGrant Dalton Wants to Make His Mark in Barcelona

Grant Dalton Wants to Make His Mark in Barcelona

America’s Cup CEO Grant Dalton publicly acknowledged that one of the “great decisions” made by the organization was to hold the next edition in Barcelona, highlighting that it will probably be the best in the last half-century. Dalton emphasized the importance of leaving a “legacy” in the city and the country, stating that “there is no reason” why Spain shouldn’t have a boat in the competition again.

“The America’s Cup is the oldest sporting trophy in the world, and one of the things that is completely unique is that the defender sets the rules. That allows us to make decisions very quickly, and one of those great decisions was to choose the city of Barcelona,” Dalton explained at a ‘New Economy Forum’ event.

The New Zealander, also CEO of ‘Team Emirates New Zealand’, which will act as the defender, emphasized the need to win over Madrid and garner support from all of Spain, not just Catalonia and Barcelona. He thanked the Spanish government and the Generalitat for their collaboration. “My challenge for you today is to help us make this bigger in Spain,” he added.

Dalton highlighted the importance of the Port of Barcelona’s infrastructure, essential for hosting a maritime event of such magnitude, and recalled his first visit to the city in March 2010. “From the first day, the atmosphere and spirit dating back to the 1992 Olympics were evident,” he commented.

The CEO celebrated that it wasn’t necessary to invest a large amount of money in infrastructure and emphasized that choosing Barcelona was the best decision in the last 50 years of the America’s Cup. “When I left the day after, I was looking for a reason why you wouldn’t come to Barcelona, not why you would,” he declared.

A Lasting Legacy

Dalton insisted on the “spirit” of the Olympics that endures today through the volunteers, who recently immortalized the America’s Cup logo. “When we did this human logo, it was a spark, an incredible feeling,” he said, asking Madrid to also help spread the competition throughout Spain.

The CEO highlighted that Barcelona is “one of the best cities in the world” and that Spain is “one of the great countries of the world.” He emphasized the importance of the legacy they will leave behind. “We will be judged by what we leave behind. We promise to leave a legacy for Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain at the end of the America’s Cup,” he assured.

Dalton explained that they are aligned with many goals of Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain, such as the blue economy. That’s why they are betting on hydrogen-powered boats that do not use fossil fuels. “They only emit water, and that’s unique,” he said.

He also spoke about diversity, reflected in the women’s and youth competitions, and the ease of access through audience reach and free TV broadcasting, expecting 1.5 billion unique views. He mentioned the launch of the ‘AC Sailing’ video game and a championship in Barcelona on September 28.

Dalton doesn’t know who the final rival of the Emirates Team New Zealand will be but predicts that ‘Luna Rossa’ will be the challenger. “Winning the trophy for the third consecutive time would be a great feeling for us as an organization,” he confessed.

The Desire to Help Bring Back a Spanish Challenge

Dalton detailed that an America’s Cup team typically has about 150 people, but only 12 sail, including 50 engineers who design the boat from a scientific perspective. “Technology is key,” he stated.

He insisted on the importance of creating pathways for Spain to have a team again, recalling that Spain has won more gold medals in sailing than in any other sport. “There is no reason why it can’t come back,” he expressed.

Dalton promised that if they win, they will help facilitate Spain’s participation in the next America’s Cup, highlighting the importance of the women’s and youth competitions, with the participation of the Sail Team BCN.

Finally, he left open the possibility of Barcelona continuing as the venue if Emirates Team New Zealand wins. “The spirit of Barcelona cannot be bought with money, it has to be created,” concluded Dalton, confirming that he will not participate on board the team but feels privileged to lead the organization.

READ IN SPANISH: Grant Dalton quiere dejar huella en Barcelona

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