ALICANTE will do ‘everything possible’ to ensure the city does not lose the start of the Volvo Ocean race from 2017. That’s according to Councillor for Tourism, Eva Montesinos.
Concerns over the future of the round-the-world yacht race have been raised over the amount of money it cost the city to host the launch of the race in October 2014.
In the summer, the promoter of the Volvo Ocean Race threatened to sue the Valencian Government unless the €581,813 debt was paid as agreed as part of the contracted deal done with the previous government.
The apparent debt was believed to have arisen from a modified contract made between the Thematic Projects Society of Valencia, a public company dependent on the Generalitat regional government, and Volvo Ocean Race in July 2013, following the initial contract made three years previously when the deal was done to host the launch of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The Valencian Government and the organisers of the race agreed that Thematic Projects would be responsible for obtaining all necessary administrative licences needed to occupy the space at the Port of Alicante, while Volvo would assume the organisation of the official Race Village.
The two sides set a maximum cost of €4.5 million for the village, which should have been covered by sponsorship revenue. If the sponsorship gained was less than the cost of assembly, it was agreed the Consell would fill the gap, of up to €3 million. Any revenues generated above the amount would be profit for Volvo and not the regional government.
However, there was a deficit in sponsorship and months after the race left Alicante the organisers claimed Thematic Projects were to pay €2.99 million for the cost incurred in organising the Race Village.
Councillor Montesinos said they were now trying to seek private sponsors for the next edition and were looking to Regional Secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, for support.