America's Cup in Hervey Bay?

HERVEY Bay has emerged as a possible contender to early next year after Swiss defender Alinghi offered a Queensland venue as a compromise to US team Oracle in a bid to end their two-year legal battle over the site for the Cup showdown.

If Queensland is accepted as a solution to resolve the on-going legal battle, the likely location would be somewhere between the Gold Coast and Townsville.

And according to Fraser Coast regional councillor Anne Nioa that means Hervey Bay, with its protected waters and marina facilities, is the perfect location.

“If the legal decision comes down selecting Queensland as the chosen location we would be doing everything in our power to bring the Cup to the Fraser Coast,” said Ms Nioa, who is in charge of the council’s tourism and marketing portfolio.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity. When the decision is made we’ll be rolling out the red carpet. We’re perfect in every way – obviously now we need to let them know that.”

Hervey Bay sailor Paul Neeskens said he was thrilled by the possibility of hosting the America’s Cup.

“It would be fabulous if the America’s Cup came to Hervey Bay.”

Neeskens said the protected waters off Hervey Bay would provide a superb location for the Cup, which would be held in February.

“This would be one of the key arguments for bringing the Cup to this area,” he said.

The likely location for the America’s Cup if it was to come to Hervey Bay would be in the deeper waters up near Fraser Island, Neeskens said.

“The opportunity would be great for tourism and great for sailing,” he said.

“Hervey Bay is just one of many places they are considering. It is a fabulous place to sail for all kinds of boats.”

Once the court has ruled, and if the Americans drop legal proceedings, the Swiss said they would select an exact location within 10 business days.

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