World Ironman Championships 2018 Bid: City bids farewell to delegation

BY ASAVELA FEKEMA - MAY 17, 2016

The Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Danny Jordaan, on Tuesday bade farewell to a World Ironman Championships delegation that arrived in the Bay over the weekend at a brief ceremony held at the Tramways building in Port Elizabeth.

Vice President of World Champion Events, Diana Bertsch, and Ironman Chief Operating Officer, Shane Facteau, arrived on Sunday to assess the Bay’s readiness to host the 2018 World Ironman Championships, should it win.

There are two other cities - Nice in France and Budapest in Hungary, which are also competing to host the event. The winning city will be announced in June this year.

At the event, Bertsch highlighted some of the things they were looking at, which include infrastructure, the warmth of the city and safety for the athletes.

“When the athletes come to the race, they come because it is a dream to be in the world race,” she said.

Jordaan expressed his appreciation to the Ironman Bid Committee for choosing Port Elizabeth, and mentioned that the shortlist was confirmation that the Nelson Mandela Bay is the destination to host events of this global magnitude.

“It is quite an honour for the City and the residents of the Nelson Mandela Bay, we would like to express that we are very committed to this event and we will work hard in ensuring that we deliver,” he said.

Spokesperson for Ironman South Africa, Michael Flanagan, said hosting the championships here will boost tourism in the Bay as more than 16 000 foreign athletes and visitors would be in the City for the two-day competition.

“The event will have a huge boost for tourism and hospitality, the eyes of the world will be on the Nelson Mandela Bay for that period of time,” said Flanagan.

Even people from the townships would also benefit as the visitors would certainly take time to see places like the Mandela Peace Park in Motherwell and The Red Location in New Brighton.

Between R8 million and R10 million will be required to host the World Ironman Championships in the Bay.

Caption: From left, Shane Facteau COO of Ironman, Diana Bertsch Vice President of World Championship events and Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan