America's Cup bid
could be big boon to our economy

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (4/04/98)
By Ray Pendleton

Did you know you can do something that can help boost Hawaii's sagging economy, and it will only take a few minutes of your time?

All you need to do is write a letter to your state legislators voicing your endorsement for state support of the Aloha Racing Team's efforts to bring the America's Cup - the oldest trophy in sports - to Hawai`i.

How can the Aloha Racing Team help our economy by campaigning for the America's Cup, you ask? Well, there are four major reasons.

First, understand that the sailing team is already in training, racing and winning regattas across the nation aboard Dr. Jim Andrews OneDesign 48, Abracadabra. In the process, it has also become something of a public relations team for the state of Hawai`i.

At every venue, Aloha Racing's name alone brings thoughts of paradise to on-lookers, the media and to fellow competitors. Its on-shore support crew adds emphasis to this by displaying "Made in Hawai`i" products and continuously pitching Hawai`i as the best place in the world for America's Cup 2003.

Because of this, Hawai`i and Aloha Racing have already received considerable worldwide attention in magazines and newspapers, as well as on television and the Internet. Just imagine the media attention when the team comes home here to race in the Kenwood Cup International Offshore Series this summer.

Second, understand that the Aloha Racing Team is now one of 16 teams from around the world that has submitted its $250,000 performance bond and will vie for the honor of challenging the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in the America's Cup race scheduled for February, 2000.

Aloha Racing's participation in the this event alone will be a huge promotional opportunity for its sponsors and Hawai`i. Total television coverage by ESPN is predicted to be in excess of 100 hours and to be viewed by 15.3 million people in the United States. Additionally, some 3,000 international journalists are expected to chronicle the event.

Third, understand that the Aloha Racing Team is challenging for the Cup with expectations of bringing it to Hawai`i.

"We don't want to just go down there," skipper John Kolius said recently. "We want to go down there to win."

Unlike when Dennis Conner trained here before racing and winning the cup for San Diego in 1987 in Fremantle, Australia, if the Aloha Racing Team prevails in New Zealand, the Cup - and the next race - will come to Hawai`i.

The economic impact of hosting "America's Cup 2003" could be staggering.

When Australia held the race off Fremantle, the gross revenues were estimated at $909 million. Then, Conner brought the Cup to San Diego and the 1992 race revenues went up to $1.2 billion. Now, New Zealand is predicted to expect something like $1.8 billion gross and the following race could top $2 billion.

Fourth, understand what the physical impact of hosting the America's Cup Race would mean to our maritime infrastructure.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by the challenging race syndicates to create shore facilities for their boats, and once they are built, they become valuable, permanent assets for Hawaii's boating community.

Ok, you understand, and now it's time to write. Oh, and don't forget to type it double-spaced and in a large type for our busy legislators - mahalo.

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