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2007's Top Ten Travel Destinations  Feb 12, 14:40

Valencia makes the Hartford Courant's list on the strength of the America's Cup.

Lovely Rita, Meter Maid Madame Mayor, has put VLC on the travel map for 2007.

Holiday Cheer  Dec 24, 22:31

A few days before our team officially went on break, some of our colleagues visited Valencia's Hospital General to spread a little holiday cheer. Clockwise from upper left: Jane Eagleson (USA), Jamie Gale (NZL), Brian MacInnes (USA), Mark Bradford (AUS), Michelle Tapper (NZL), Sofia Barraclough (ESP) and Dr Kiko Espi-Escriva (ESP).




VLC: Another Beaut Week...  Nov 19, 09:58

...of light westerlies. In the past week it's gotten cool at night, but the last couple days have been gorgeous. Warm, dry, clear as a bell -- but not a wind strength or direction that bodes well for testing or training.

Graphic(s) courtesy of the BBC Weather Center.

Glad we are training these days in Auckland. And to our friends on other teams who have taken pleasure in emailing us to say that the weather in AKL has not been too flash of late, please note that we are only now gearing up Downunder. The forecast there this week, as Spring begins to take hold....

Not quite as warm as VLC during the day, but good southwesterly breezes. Nice wx for training, and for racing in the NZ National Match Racing Championship which takes place this week (23-26 Nov).

Picnic Weather  Nov 12, 10:51

Looks like a nice week shaping up for picnics or even the beach maybe, but not for testing and training -- at least not here in VLC. Between now and March, take your pick: sunny but light air, some breeze but with heavy rain, or very heavy northwesterly (offshore) winds that we rarely see here during the spring/summer "racing season."

Hence the reason at least Alinghi, BMWOR and ETNZ have bolted for more reliable sailing venues. Remains to be seen whether any other teams will join the exodus -- word on the waterfront is that Victory Challenge (SWE) are waiting to hear if they have the funding to join Alinghi in Dubai.

Graphic courtesy of the BBC Weather Centre.

F1 Grand Prix in Valencia?  Nov 11, 09:20

gpnavbar_start_s1This morning another story has appeared about a possible F1 GP in VLC from 2008, this one on the authoritative website....

A new Grand Prix in Europe?

While everyone is going on about new races in Asia, there is not doubt that there is one country in Europe where there are serious attempts going on to get a new race: Spain. The Spanish economy is doing well, Fernando Alonso is a double World Champion, and interest in F1 in Spain is at all-time high. There are ymoung Spanish drivers popping out of the woodwork all the time and even vague thoughts of a Spanish F1 team - although F1 franchises are a little thin on the ground at the moment.

One city that thinks that it has a future with F1 is Valencia. The city, 200 miles to the south-west of Barcelona on Spain's Mediterranean coast, is currently the home of the America's Cup. The city, which has a population of 750,000, has spent a great deal of money to transform its port area to include an area where the America's Cup teams are currently based. This features an inner and an outer harbour which have been developed to draw in people. There are restaurants, bars, shops and the 12 team bases, in addition there is an exhibition hall called the House of the America's Cup and an America's Cup Park plus the dramatic Veles e Vents building, which overlooks the area. The outer marina is to have 600 berths. The local authorities are currently considering what happens next as the America's Cup teams will leave after the event in July and the city wants to use the whole area for other big events, to keep the toursit trade coming. Having a Spanish version of the Monaco Grand Prix is a smart idea. The problem is that Barcelona has the Spanish GP several more years.

However, this is not an insurmountable problem as we saw in Germany at the height of Michael Schumacher's popularity when Hockenheim hosted the German GP and Nurburgring was the home of the European and Luxembourg GPs.

Full story

Will the BMW Sauber team, and the F1 circus, bring the essence of racing to Valencia in 2008?

Port Paralysis  Nov 10, 08:16

commutingApparently the reason for the massive traffic jams the other day in and around the Port of Valencia -- which inevitably spill over into, and greatly hamper getting in and out of, the Port America's Cup -- was not just the heavy rain, but the stevedores going on strike. More of the same yesterday (a perfectly clear morning) when they went back to work and all the truckers tried to jam into the Port at the same time.

According to this morning's Valencia Life, it's to happen all over again next week....

The end of the stevedores strike in Valencia Port yesterday managed to bring traffic chaos to the City, where driving conditions were not improved due to the falling rain. As work started at 6 am in the Port, it soon became blocked by the thousands of trucks that had been queuing either to load or land their cargos. However, chaos is expected to return next week when the stevedores once again stage a two-day strike as a gesture of support for the stevedores of Cartagena Port.

AC32 -- life in the shadow of the POV.

...Stays Mainly on the Plain?  Nov 9, 08:26

Not this time of year in Valencia. Needless to say, yesterday none of the teams still training here docked out; with more periods of torrential rains and heavy winds forecast over the coming months, seems a wise decision to be moving our winter act to Auckland. From today's Valencia Life newsletter....

The massive rainstorms continued to fall in the Valencian Community yesterday, , with one of the first effects being that the Port Captain of Sagunto ordered the facilities closed due to the weather conditions, and yesterday over 90% of the Valencian Community fishing fleets could not set out to sea. The storms also brough tremendous traffic tailbacks on the V-30 and V-31 roads to and from Valencia Port, and this was worsened by the continuing strike of the stevedores. Firemen from Paterna had to intervene on several occasions to stop homes and garages being flooded, whilst there were also electricity cuts in Carlet, Sagunto, Xeraco and Tavernes de la Valldigna. In Castellon some 350 pupils remained at home after clases were cancelled, and a woman was killed after being swept away in her car as she drove near Alzira. In the three provinces, enormous amounts of rainfall were registered with 138 liters per square meter being recorded in Tavernes de la Valldigna (Valencia Province), 62 liters per square meter in Agost (Alicante) and 58 liters per square meter in Xert (Castellon). The storm is expected to relent somewhat throughout today as the Farmers Union stated that the rains accumulated represented 50% more than is usual at this time of year.

Record Temps in VLC  Oct 31, 23:36

From today's Valencia Life newsletter:

This month has gone down as being the hottest October ever recorded in the Valencian Community, with the average daily temperature exceeding the previous record by 3.10 degrees. The figures speak for themselves in the three capital cities: in Alicante the monthly average high was 21.7 degrees, when the normal reading would be 19.1; in Castellon, the average was 21.3 degrees as opposed to an average October of 18.3, and in Valencia the average was 21.9 as opposed to the usual 19.1


Happy Valencia Day -- Happy Columbus Day  Oct 9, 12:53

While today is a normal working day for our team here in VLC, most of Valencia is off celebrating "Valencia Day." There was a massive fireworks display here last evening, and the highways and streets were all but deserted on the way into the Port America's Cup this morning.

As I write this at midday, there are throngs of families and others walking up and down Base Row here in the PAC, visiting the team shoppes and interactive areas, and otherwise enjoying the ambience. Nice to see this, and hopefully this local interest will grow over the coming months.

Today it is balmy and overcast; unfortunately, there is very little wind and not a lot predicted. So far few if any ACC yachts have docked out. However, even as I type this the breeze has started to fill in (at least here in the harbour) and I see Mascalzone's new, black ITA 90 and the Alinghi boats starting now to tow out.

While it is not Columbus Day here in VLC, it is in the USA. So best wishes to our American colleagues for whom this is a national holiday, and especially Italian-Americans who celebrate the fact that Cristóbal Columbo was, in fact, an Italian. No doubt Peter "Luigi" Reggio (AC 32 principal race officer) is at the head of the NYC Columbus Day Parade. [Update: At dinner last evening, a prominent AC figure drew a modern-day parallel: "Who would have thought that 514 years later the Spanish would have a Pole sailing for them."]

That Columbus was sailing for Spain is not lost on the hispanic/latino world. Indeed, Spain celebrates Día de la Hispanidad this Thursday, as a national holiday. (At least for Valencia, a three-day weekend followed immediately by four days off next weekend!)

Why Monday in the States and Thursday here? 12 October used to be the holiday in the USA as well, until Columbus Day, like many USA holidays, was moved to a Monday -- in this case the second Monday of October -- to create a three-day weekend.

And while we are at it, Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian colleagues and friends, who celebrate their national day of good providence also on the second Monday of October.

"First Landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World." Painting by Discoro Téofilo de la Puebla; courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Starbucks!  Aug 14, 16:41

valencia1smReportedly the first Starbucks in Valencia is now open at C/ San Vicente, 44. That's near the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in the central city. Details and a map in a tongue-in-cheek post on the CC Blog.

With a Starbucks on every other corner in Auckland, and throughout the USA, at least the Kiwis and Yanks on our team will now feel a little more at home here in VLC.