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Scuttlebutt News:

Developments in the Dársena Interior

(April 18, 2005) The following information was compiled from an interview with Marcus Hutchinson, Head of Communications, America’s Cup Management, 18.04.05, Valencia, Spain. Story by Anne Hinton. (see photos)

Valencia has the sunshine and warm temperatures to welcome the America’s Cup teams to town. America’s Cup advertising is across many parts of the city. Development in the America’s Cup harbour area, the Dársena Interior, is now proceeding apace. Work is going on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Il Moro di Venezia, now under the control of A.C. Management and painted in the 2007 America’s Cup colours, is currently sitting in a berth off the future Alinghi base. A.C. Management will be running an America’s Cup class sailing experience from the Foredeck Club, which will be in the middle of the Dársena Interior, at the end of the long pontoon, ready for Act 4 in June 2005. The super yachts will be moored around this.

In terms where the team bases will be located: Alinghi is nearest the area where the new canal is to be dug through to provide rapid access to the race area without the need for the boats to sail through the commercial port. Just a bit closer to the future canal – the red and white brick building with the slipway in front of it – will be A.C. Management’s offices from about the beginning of June. [A.C. Management is currently in what will be the Media Centre in the innermost part of the Dársena Interior.]

Next to Alinghi on the other side is +39. The next base, like the +39 one, also well through the building stage, is that of Shosholoza. Next to them is BMW Oracle Racing, with a 65 metre waterfront – Shosholoza and +39 have the ‘standard’ 35 metre waterfront. Luna Rossa is the next one around (on the other side of the crane) – also a biggish base. The crane area will be a park area with public access; the crane itself is to be left in place as a monument to the industrial port. On the other side of the Luna Rossa base (where the tug is moored in the pictures), will be shops, restaurants, etc.

Next to the restaurants and shops, in the inner Dársena Interior area, where the palm trees currently are near the road, will be a building called ‘House of the America’s Cup’, which will be like the Louis Vuitton multi-media walk-through cubes that were present in Auckland.

In the Media Centre building, the media workplaces are to be on the second floor, there is a restaurant on the first floor and the media boats will be berthed on pontoons immediately outside. The broadcasting rights holders (TV etc.) will be on the ground floor of this building this year. In the future, they will be in a building to be built behind the Media Centre on the present Media Centre car park area.

There will be car parking available under the ‘hangers’ (which are historic buildings) in addition to the large existing public car park across the street and others a bit further away in the city. [An underground line is due to be completed from the airport to the port area. This is much needed as the public transport takes up to 2 hours from the airport to the port at present. It is understood that buses will also be laid on. A taxi or a hire car is really the only option just now. If you do go to Valencia and get a hire car, N.B. that some of the roads on the tourist board’s map – as provided to me at the airport on arrival - do not, at present, exist, e.g. in the vicinity of the modern museum buildings on the southeastern side of the city.]

Next to the Media Centre, on the southern side of the harbour, is the Emirates Team New Zealand base, where the machines are working in the pictures. The next one, with a structure on it, is K-Challenge. The other side of that will be Victory Challenge. The one the other side of that ‘where the waterfront has got a kink in it’, as Hutchinson put it, also a biggish base, will be Desafío Español. Beyond that will be Team Capitalia. Beyond that there are two more [potential] bases. The furthest of these will be used for the fishing fleet for the next year, because the fishing fleet has to move to make way for the canal.

The white building (to the right of the future AC Management base on the northern side of the harbour) which is used as a fish market, will be destroyed to make way for the ‘ultimate park’ in that area, going through out on to the breakwaters on the outer edge of the harbour to provide the best viewing area for the racing. Two piers will be built out into the sea in this area. The new fishing port will be on the southern side of these.

The trucks currently go along the road behind the Luna Rossa to Alinghi base areas to get to the container area. At present, says Marcus Hutchinson, ‘2,500 trucks go along the road every day.’ This access will no longer be possible when the canal is cut through. When the canal is cut that part of the port where the containers are piled up now will become an island. The trucks will then need to go around the other side of the Dársena Interior area and the white lifting bridge will be down to allow them access to the container area in this direction. The Challenger Commission website has a good plan of the Dársena Interior as it is intended to be.

At present, Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing have temporary bases next to the boatyard at the inner end of the yacht club marina, south of the main part of the city. Further out on an arm of the same marina, Luna Rossa also has a decent sized base. The Spanish Challenge (Desafío Español) is sailing its boat out of the marina, from a pontoon near the Luna Rossa base. +39 are already working out of their base in the Dársena Interior on the other (northern and inner) side of Valencia’s commercial port area.

On 18th April 2005 it was exactly two years before the start of the first Louis Vuitton Cup races. It’s all on – and it’s all happening rapidly!

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