The Waiting Game- news from the AC and sailing from the US and beyond

Last week, the Defender of the 34th America’s Cup, the Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW/Oracle Racing, delivered an ultimatum to San Francisco City Hall to iron out an acceptable deal by December 17—this Friday. Today the plot thickened substantially as it has been reported that the Supervisors of the City of San Francisco have now submitted their proposal to the Defender for hosting the next Cup. For SF AC34 fans, myself included, this is huge news: After months of granular politicking in San Francisco, the proposal has now officially changed hands; all that remains is an answer from the Defender.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (left) listening to BMW Oracle team boss Larry Ellison - San Francisco (USA,CA) USA Victory Tour

Maybe, the tortuous wait will be over soon: The Defender has until December 31, 2010 to announce the venue, as governed by the Protocol.

(For those not super up to speed on the drama, earlier this week there is/was a serious threat that the Cup might not be raced on San Francisco’s fabled Bay—now, chances have improved appreciably, well maybe, depending who you and the City is listening to. For those interested in the workings of this deal, be sure to check out Richard Gladwell’s very well informed pieces, in this issue.)

Be sure to stay tuned for more information on the unfolding drama with the location of AC34, as it becomes known.

Also Cup related, last week Aleph, the French syndicate headed by Bertrand Pacé and Alain Gautier, was confirmed by the Golden Gate Yacht Club as an official challenger for the 34th America’s Cup. 'Representing one’s country is a huge privilege, and one more reason to be at the top of our game and not disappoint,' said Pacé. 'In line with its strategy, Aleph – Equipe De France will continue to bring together French talent focussing on performance-oriented team players.'

And since the Cup is this week’s topic du jour, check out the transcript of Jimmy Spithill’s speech at the World Yacht Racing Forum. No one knows better than the winning skipper of AC 33 what match-racing multi-hulls in the America’s Cup is all about, and his thoughts are both insightful and revealing.

And lastly, be sure to check out John Payne’s eye-popping image gallery from the RC44 Cup Miami for some mid-week sailing inspiration.

May the four winds blow you safely home,