by Chuck Lantz
ETNZ looking stylish and fast - America’s Cup
,b.Today's first race of the challenger series in San Francisco was a bit lonely out there, with only ETNZ completing the course.
Prada Luna Rossa, scheduled to race today, stayed at their base in protest of the method being used to implement the new safety rules, which were proposed after the fatal Artemis crash involving crewman Andrew Simpson.
Even though ETNZ completed the course all alone - a requirement of the rules of the event - and stayed off their foils for most of the two laps, the crowd onshore cheered and gasped as ETNZ came by at speed and on the edge. All in all, it was a great show, even with only one AC72 out there. Those who lined the shore to watch were very positive and looking forward to more racing, hopefully involving more than one boat.
The only glitch in the system seemed to be a lack of readily available information for those spectators who were in the most obvious areas for free viewing, which includes both parking lots next to the St. Francis and Golden Gate yacht clubs, and Crissy Field.
With the large number of AC volunteers at the AC Pavilion and Marina AC Village, it might be helpful if a few of them were dispatched to the other viewing areas mentioned, since the spectators there were descending on anyone who appeared to be even half-way official.