Barcelona makes sailing history after being named America’s Cup host

Barcelona will become the first venue to stage an Olympic Games (1992) and an America's Cup after it was awarded the hosting of the latter for the 2024 edition on Tuesday.

Barcelona makes sailing history after being named America's Cup host
The America's Cup, informally known as the Auld Mug, is a trophy awarded in the sport of sailing. It is the oldest international competition still operating in any sport(Photo by DEAN TREML / AFP)

As reigning champions, Team New Zealand had the right to decide the host city and chose Barcelona.

A statement on the official America’s Cup website described Barcelona as having “world class facilities” for racing, “as well as an average wind range of 9 to 15 knots during the September and October race window”, which makes the city “completely fit for purpose”.

Team New Zealand defended the Auld Mug last year after beating the Italian team, Luna Rossa.

Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton said: “Barcelona really is one of the most recognised cities in the world so to have the ability to host the most recognised sailing event in the world is hugely exciting.”

“When thinking ahead to the 37th America’s Cup and the AC75’s racing within a few hundred metres of the Barcelona beach, waterfront, and race village fan engagement zones it will be nothing less than spectacular,” Dalton added.

Barcelona beat Malaga and Jeddah in the bidding and takes over from Auckland as host.

The America’s Cup was first contested in 1851 and claims to be the oldest competition in international sport.

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau said: “This should serve to promote the city to the world after the pandemic, to benefit Barcelona’s tradition of this sport in a city by the sea and in addition, to boost the emerging sector of innovation and technology, linked to nautical activities.”

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Spanish sports grounds to return to full capacity as Covid restrictions lifted

Spanish sports grounds will be able to return to 100 percent capacity for the first time since the pandemic next month, health chiefs said Wednesday.

Spanish sports grounds to return to full capacity as Covid restrictions lifted

“From the weekend of March 4, sporting events, both outdoors and indoors, will see their capacities raised to 100 percent, given the satisfactory evolution of all the epidemiological indicators,” said health minister Carolina Darias.

However, she warned that wearing masks will remain compulsory and that it will still be forbidden to smoke, drink or eat during sporting events.

Spain’s outdoor face mask rule was lifted last week, with some exceptions. 

READ MORE: When do you still have to wear a mask outdoors in Spain?

At the end of December, Spanish authorities reduced crowd limits to 75 percent and 50 percent indoors to combat rising cases of Covid-19.

There have been more than 10 million cases of the virus recorded in Spain with 97,000 deaths.

Levels have dropped to 1,060 cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days against 3,418 on January 21.