lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel
Cozumel Marina and Regatta
Yacht race to visit Cozumel.

Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, was in Cozumel, yesterday, to announce that the island will host part of the 2013/2014 Clipper Round The World Yacht Race.

The world famous regatta will see exciting activities centered around the island's new marina, which is expected to be operational in the next two months.

William Ward, CEO of Clipper Ventures, the British organizers of the race, told This is Cozumel today, "We are always looking for new exciting places to berth and Cozumel’s surroundings, world renowned coastline and history will be a delight for our sponsors and crew and will give Cozumel a great platform to market itself globally."

Cozumel Clipper Round The World Yacht Race
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race 2011-2012.

The fleet of twelve identical 70 foot racing yachts will set sail from England in 2013 to circumnavigate the world in an eleven month-long marathon that is expected to arrive to Cozumel around April 2014.

The announcement was made yesterday at the official inauguration of Cozumel's new marina, which has been under construction for almost 4 years.

Cozumel Calderón
Mexico's President at Marina Cozumel yesterday.

The surrounding hotel and residential construction will not be completed for several more years, but the last major step to finish the marina itself was completed recently, when the channel connecting the berths for 327 boats was opened to the sea. Local boats are expected to start using the marina in the coming months.

Marina Cozumel represents one of the current Mexican government's largest investments in tourism infrastructure, and has been managed by Fonatur, the same federal agency that created the Mexican Caribbean resort of Cancun.

Fonatur said that $27.4 million of public money has been invested in the project and that it will attract a further $29.1 million in private investment. They also said it will create more than 5,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly.

New Cozumel Marina
How the new Cozumel marina looks so far.

Local environmentalists have raised concerns over the construction and operation of the marina and potential damage to the island's precious reefs. In response, Fonatur admitted to This is Cozumel that there was a problem during construction with some dust and debris from excavation escaping into the sea, but said that the problem was quickly resolved.

They also said it will be much cleaner than the old Caleta marina next door, pointing to the fact that now there will be a fuel station so boats can fill tanks in a cleaner manner and reduce pollution in the water.

It is hoped the project will help diversify the island's tourism industry so it is not so dependent on cruise ships, and that it will attract a different type of visitor who will stay longer and spend more.

Find out more about the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race or see Fonatur's promotional video for Marina Cozumel.

Related News:

Thrilling Cozumel Yacht Racing, Feb 26, 2012.

Cozumel Marina Sails Ahead, Mar 10, 2011.

New 'Luxury Marina Complex', Apr 30, 2008.