Volvo group have six weeks to get Govt backing to host next raceAugust 16, 2012 - 7:30am
By Dara Bradley
The organisers of the successful Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway in July have about six weeks to convince government to financially back a bid to host the event again in 2014-2015.
President of Let’s Do It Global, John Killeen has confirmed that the existing not-for-profit structure of the organisation will have to change if Galway City is to make another bid for the round-the-world sailing event.
He said the current funding structure is not sustainable into the future and the reality is a State-funded organisation or the Government will have to underwrite any bid to bring the race back to Galway for the third time.
Mr Killeen said ports that have never hosted a stopover before must submit applications to Volvo by September 1, in order for them to go through a validation process on whether they are capable of staging it.
He said Galway, which has two successful events under its belt, does not have to go through this process and so has until “late September or early October” to submit an application. A decision on the ports will be made in December of this year.
“Over 40 ports around Europe are looking to host it this time; I met nine people from ports who were in Galway during the finale looking at how we staged the event – Galway is the template,” he said.
Mr Killeen said the €4.5m investment by the Government brought an estimated return of €100 million to the local economy, according to early estimates from Galway Chamber. He said it was too early to tell whether Government had an “appetite” to financially back another bid but he was hopeful that commonsense would prevail and that the financial returns from a minimal investment is substantial.
He said the State would have to effectively underwrite any fresh bid because Let’s Do It Global could not continue to operate on a voluntary basis.
Read more in today’s Connacht Tribune