Hosting the America’s Cup sailing competition in Cork could have "huge economic benefits to the harbour and wider Cork area", according to Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork.
Mr Mowlds' comments followed reports that Ireland has been shortlisted as a potential location to hold the America's Cup sailing competition in 2024, with reports that Cork Harbour has been proposed as the country's host venue.
The event has taken place in New Zealand on the past three occasions but is expected to be held elsewhere in 2024.
Hosting this event is believed to have been worth between €350 million and almost €600 million to New Zealand's economy.
Yesterday RTÉ reported that Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney told Cabinet colleagues that Ireland is among the options being considered to host the prestigious event.
“There were initially 34 other countries expressing an interest.
“It was then reduced to 12 or 14 and then reduced to a much smaller number," he explained after the Cabinet meeting.
“I think we're right in there with a chance to win,” he added.
It is also reported that Cork Harbour has been scouted as the location by a team of specialists for a team village, wind speeds and a racing circuit.
The decision on where to hold the event will be made by Team New Zealand and it is understood an announcement could be made in the latter half of September.
Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork said it is "absolutely fantastic to see Cork Harbour in the running to host the America’s Cup in 2024."
He added: “Cork Harbour is the second-largest natural harbour in the world, with deep water capabilities, excellent berth facilities and most importantly an abundance of wind beyond Roches Point, making it an ideal location to host this prestigious sailing race.
“The America’s Cup has the prospect of generating huge economic benefits to the harbour and wider Cork area and would spotlight Cork harbour to the world.”
Cobh Tourism chairperson Jack Walsh also welcomed the news that Cork is being considered as a possible location.
“As the home of the world's first yacht club, Cork Harbour and Cobh would be delighted to welcome the world's most prestigious of races,” he said.
“An exceptional setting with spectacular backdrops, the finest of welcomes and the passion, tradition and expertise necessary will all combine to make for a successful event.”