Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

America's Cup- Coutts eliminates San Francisco as 2017 venue

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz on 12 Jun 2014
Now it seems it is San Francisco’s turn to to a face plant in the America’s Cup Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA © http://www.oracleteamusamedia.com/
It has been confirmed by the San Francisco Chronicle that Oracle Team USA CEO, Russell Coutts has eliminated San Francisco as a venue for the 35th America's Cup.

The move was signaled earlier in the week, to the anguish of many, but that has apparently been ignored in the pursuit of the best commercial deal for the event.

The report says:

Russell Coutts, director of the America's Cup Event Authority, e-mailed the mayor confirming news reports that San Francisco hadn't made the shortlist to host the 35th sailing regatta. San Diego, Chicago and Bermuda are still in the running.

'Given the tight timeline and demands from prospective teams to confirm the final venue, it has been necessary to continue reducing the shortlist of candidate cities,' Coutts wrote. 'We have therefore taken the difficult decision to no longer consider San Francisco as a possible candidate to host AC35.'

The letter gives no explanation, but Lee has been adamant that the city not use general fund money to host the event after losing $11.5 million in city funds on the sailing races last year. In addition, the mayor wanted the race organizers to pay rent on the piers and to pay prevailing union wages for construction projects. Those demands seemed to be a no-go with Coutts and Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle.

Coutts in his letter said that the race organizers would be open to discussing hosting the 36th event in San Francisco - probably in 2021 or thereabouts.

For the full story click here

Reports had been circulating from the West Coast of the USA, implying that the spectacular venue for the 34th Cup had been eliminated, prompting one long time fan, Peter Stoneberg, to write an impassioned letter to US sailing website and newsletter www.sailingscuttlebutt.com

From Peter Stoneberg:

Recent press reports have said that San Francisco may be out of the running to host the 35th America's Cup (click here). If true, after such a great event last summer, the loss would be profound for San Francisco, for sailing and particularly for the America's Cup.

San Francisco and the Bay present the finest venue in the world for the America's Cup.

As a sailor, I feel that SF is the best a venue can offer: consistent strong winds, flat water needed for foiling cats, breath-taking scenery for TV backdrops, a world-class metropolitan area, plentiful free public access to watch the regattas, and a City that got behind the racing and wants the America's Cup back.

As a businessman, I saw the 34th America's Cup generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity for San Francisco, create thousands of jobs for the region and showcase our spectacular waterfront to visitors from around the globe.

As a Californian, I saw our state demonstrate how the oldest trophy in international sport could be open to all citizens to view for free, to promote an environmentally connected sport, to use engineering and information technologies to do things that were thought impossible even just two years ago.

Thanks to Larry Ellison's and Russell Coutts' vision and resources in conjunction with the AC Event Authority (ACEA) and in cooperation with the City, the Cup was revolutionized last summer and brought the sport of sailing to millions of spectators in person, on TV and over the web. Thanks to Jimmy Spithill's leadership on the water, the Oracle Team USA victory has been widely characterized as the greatest, most thrilling comeback in the history of sport.

As Former Secretary George Schultz recently said 'God created San Francisco Bay for the America's Cup'. I am only one of many that agree.

As a sailor, citizen and America's Cup fan, I hope that ACEA and Golden Gate Yacht Club continue the great momentum created last summer and the Cup can return to the Defender's home waters.

If you enjoyed watching the Cup, got a job because of the Cup, enjoyed the economic benefit from the Cup and/or would just like to see the Cup come back to San Francisco, please take a moment to make a comment here, write a letter to the City and ACEA and let your voice be heard. Let's not let silence or the vocal minority take our Cup away.


The remaining venues on Coutts' list are San Diego, Bermuda and Chicago for what is now being cynically termed the Commercial Cup.

One of those is due to be eliminated by the end of June and an announcement may be made in September ahead of the December 31, 2014 deadline in the Protocol, but five weeks after the entry deadline has closed for the regatta. Teams will have to pay the $1million entry fee without knowing where the regatta will be held.

The other issue that arises from Coutts' decision is that the Match will now be sailed away from the waters and facilities of the Defending club, Golden Gate Yacht Club. While that was possible in Valencia in 2007 with the specialist facilities that were constructed, it would not be so easy in a major sailing venue, with the need to take over an existing club for an extended period of time.



Aside from the Challenger for the 34th America's Cup, Team New Zealand, there has been not comment from other potential Challengers on the Protocol.

Except well connected sailing correspondent Stuart Alexander, writing for the UK newspaper, The Independent, from the official launch of the Ben Ainslie Racing challenge commented:

Ainslie was diplomatically careful when saying that he was discussing 'issues' around the rules issued last week for the 2017 defence – venue as yet unknown. The Italians, who unveil their new base at Cagliari on Thursday, are fuming at what they see as 'naked dictatorship.'

There may be further comment from the Italians at their launch function.

As yet there have been no announcements of teams having lodged Challenges for the 35th America's Cup, aside from the original Team Australia/Hamilton Island Yacht Club. In the 34th America's Cup, there was a rush to get entries in when they opened, with case eventually being decided by the International Jury in favour of Sweden's Artemis Racing when Royal NZ Yacht Squadron were deemed to be a few nano-seconds too early on their first attempt.

The next Challenger in line becomes the Challenger of Record, if the original withdraws, which happened in the 34th America's Cup with Club Nautico de Roma (Mascalzone Latino). The Challenger of Record has the power of Veto on changes to the Protocol and some other rules changes as does the Defender. The rest of the Challengers just participate on a limited democratic basis only.

PredictWind.com 2014NaiadBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Wicked
ather and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery Father and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery, but Mark is out on the water, approaching Hobart. From on board he said, 'Amazing race. Barely any windward work. Just does not get better than this. Bit of gear damage cost us early, and we had to sail a little conservatively.'
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Accepting the Challenge
When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South at Christmas time. Luckily this has not been a problem for Chris Mrakas and his new crew, which includes Bruce Reidy
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – 67 out of 70
It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite in the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race so far, then it is more than A+++. Anto Sweetapple from on board the Jones 40, Quetzalcoatl, reports in from at sea for us.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 - The 60 Hour report card
60 hours into the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart race. 16 boats finished,five boats retired and 67 boats at sea. The state of play 60 hours into the 72nd running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At 0100hrs Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time this morning, 16 boats had finished the 2016 race. Five boats had retired, and 67 boats were still on the water.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – the second step for CQS and 2017
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi to compete in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. It was just her second ever race, with her first, the White Island Race in New Zealand, producing a line honours win. While Ludde Ingvall’s radical new 98-footer CQS had a very slow passage across an almost windless Storm Bay and River Derwent.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016