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San Francisco named host city

cup1San Franciscans rang in the New Year celebrating the news that they will be host to the 34th America's Cup and the spectacle of 72-foot wing-sail catamarans racing on their home turf - San Francisco Bay - against a spectator- and television-friendly backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge and the downtown waterfront.

Delivered as promised by 2010's end, the New Year's Eve announcement by the America's Cup Event Authority gave the nod to the City by the Bay over three other suitors: historic Cup venue Newport, R.I., an unidentified Italian city and a second unidentified applicant, possibly Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

"San Francisco Bay and its natural amphitheater is the best place on Earth to defend the America's Cup and bring millions of new fans to sailing from around the world," says the city's mayor and California Lt. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.

Newport, which threw its hat in the ring in mid-December after talks between the Event Authority and frontrunner San Francisco stalled, will get the consolation prize of one of the pre-Cup regattas scheduled for this summer in 45-foot cats.

cup2San Francisco, hometown of Larry Ellison, the billionaire software developer and winner of the 33rd Cup in Valencia, Spain, had been anointed from the start as the likely candidate to host the next Cup. Like many U.S. cities, however, it is strapped for cash, so negotiations with the event authority were difficult.

Subject to tweaking, the host city agreement gives Ellison's Oracle syndicate 66-year leases and development rights for three piers on the bay and a seawall lot at the foot of Bryant Street, as well as development options on two more piers, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. In return, the syndicate will invest $55 million to $80 million to refurbish the piers for the Cup.

The city will incur $31 million in direct costs, and the event authority will have to raise at least $300 million from sponsors. The race village is expected to be on piers 19 and 29, the team bases at piers 30 and 32, and the public viewing area between piers 19 and 29.

The 34th America's Cup starts with a series of prerace regattas in 45-foot catamarans at venues around the world in 2011 and 2012, followed by the challenger series in 72-footers in San Francisco in summer 2013 and the Cup match on the bay in the 72-footers in September 2013.

Click here for a complete report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Click here for the full America's Cup release.

Comments (10) Comments are closed
10 Wednesday, 05 January 2011 04:41
As much as many people wish it wouldn't, everything changes. Even in this radically different form, it will still be great to have the America's Cup back. And SF is a great venue. It'll be fun to watch and will attract a huge audience of sailors and non-sailors alike.
9 Tuesday, 04 January 2011 14:29
Rich LeCausi
The America's cup should be restricted to Mono- hulls. Whats next a parachutes and waterskies.
8 Tuesday, 04 January 2011 05:11
It is exciting to be able to see the cup races in San Francisco but I would like to see the boats be able to sail in winds up to 40 knots. They can be either mono or multi hulls.
7 Tuesday, 04 January 2011 04:16
Tony Visser
Multihulls are 'real' boats and are a lot more fun to watch than monohulls that hope to reach 15 knots in a good blow. This is the latest sailing technology put to good use and the key word here is 'fast'.
6 Tuesday, 04 January 2011 01:47
John Ennis
America..in the midst of the worst economic disaster in decades could care less about this rich boy contest that makes sailors almost wish for the egotistic days of the New York Yacht Club.
5 Tuesday, 04 January 2011 00:24
Amen to #1!
4 Monday, 03 January 2011 23:35
I have to agree. They take the position that it is about the best technology. I have to disagree, it is about the money. It should be about the best team of sailors. The event is lost to me and most other sailors I know.
3 Monday, 03 January 2011 23:26
joseph erwin
Believe me, Cats are manuverable if one knows how. Monohulls are OK, but they drag a lot of water around.
2 Monday, 03 January 2011 21:10
Steve Booth
Why Cats? They are fast, but not very manuverable, so someone will quickly get in the lead and the race will be over. This will make for boring match racing.

1 Monday, 03 January 2011 21:08
Who cares? This event has become an absolute disgrace to the sport and is an insult to the entire history of the America's Cup. We need grownups to take it back and put it back in real boats sailed by real sailors representing their real countries.
fbtwit yt