GOLD COAST BID TO LURE AMERICA'S CUP RACE

Written on the 10 March 2016 by Nick Nichols

GOLD COAST BID TO LURE AMERICA'S CUP RACE

IN THE world of sailing, there has been no bigger prize than the America's Cup, and now a group of seasoned Queensland entrepreneurs wants to bring a key leg of the event to the Gold Coast.

The Longhurst family, spearheaded by brothers Tony and Rodney, has teamed up with Brisbane hair salon king Steve 'Stefan' Ackerie to lure the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series to the tourism strip.

The series is a preliminary event in the lead-up top the 2017 Americas Cup which will be held in Bermuda.

Tony Longhurst, the former V8 Supercar driver, champion waterskier and CEO of The Boat Works at Coomera, says the plan is to bid for the last remaining open leg of the preliminary challenge which is scheduled for February next year. He says failing that, the city could target the 2020 America's Cup series.

Longhurst says the race could cost as little as $5 million to stage, but deliver 'hundreds of millions of dollars' exposure for the Gold Coast to a global market.

"Actually, I'm quite blown away by how much interest there is in yachting and the America's Cup," he says.

"It's quite a feasible exercise for the publicity it could achieve. It's very affordable, but it's up to the council and the state government to support it.

"The benefits could be hundreds of millions of dollars to our community; it could be enormous.

"We will have the infrastructure and we definitely have the natural attractions the world sees as authentically Australian.

He says the consortium has talked to city council and to the Gold Coast Waterways Authority, both of which have been 'supportive'.

Longhurst, a self-confessed 'catamaran nut', says the America's Cup most Australians would remember when Alan Bond wrested it from the Yanks in 1983 has changed dramatically.

Mono-hulled vessels are out, replaced by the dynamics of super-fast catamarans.

"These catamarans, now with young crews working their arses off and with nose-dives, are like watching Formula One," he says. "To see these boats in 20 knots of breeze doing double or triple the wind speed is amazing."

Longhurst, his brother Rodney, who owns Riviera Australia, and Ackerie plan to put up seed capital for the bid ahead of garnering support from state government and Tourism and Events Queensland to host the race.

The event requires an inland course, and Longhurst says the Broadwater offers the scale to give the race spectator appeal.

Ackerie, a six-time Australian Offshore Powerboat Racing Champion, is confident the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series will have broad public support.

"When Aussies get together with a common passion and goal, nothing can stop us," he says.

"The America's Cup is world-class and it's this fame and spotlight that follows it wherever it travels that the Gold Coast can capture and really shine to a new level. This is a journey. This is step one."

The first round of the series was held in Oman at the end of February.


Author: Nick Nichols

Latest News

STAFF CHURN BLAMED FOR MCGRATH EARNINGS DOWNGRADE

MCGRATH will fail to meet earnings forecasts after some of its star real estate agents defected to growing Perth firm...

MCBAIN RESIGNS AS BELLAMY'S DIRECTOR WHILE THIRD CLASS ACTION MOVES CLOSER TO SECURING FUNDING

LAURA McBain (pictured) has resigned as a director of Bellamy's Organic (ASX: BAL) today, effective immediatel...

REDBUBBLE TO MISS IPO FORECASTS

REDBUBBLE, the online marketplace for independent artists, will miss a series of forecasts set out in its IPO in its ...

BLUESCOPE CONTINUES STRONG RUN WITH GUIDANCE UPGRADE

BLUESCOPE Steel (ASX: BSL) is trading up 7.51 per cent at $11.16 per share after upgrading its half-year guidance thi...

Related News

CARSALES CEO RETIRES AS NEW COMPETITOR COX FINALISES MERGER

CARSALES will have a new CEO as it takes on a fresh challenger to its crown as the dominant online car sales portal i...

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE AT A SIX-YEAR HIGH

SMALL and medium businesses have entered 2017 with their confidence at a six-year high, building on strong gains m...

CONSUMERS PESSIMISTIC ENTERING 2017

CONSUMER confidence remains at its weakest point since April 2016, according to the latest Westpac Melbourne Institut...

RISE OF STARTUP SUPPORT PROGRAMS NOT AS ROSY AT IT SEEMS

ENTREPRENEURIAL cultivation companies in Australia are appearing quickly, but questions have been raised about whe...

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter