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America's Cup: San Francisco named as sole US venue option

'33rd America’s Cup - BMW ORACLE Racing - USA Victory Tour - Day 1 - Leaving Valencia'    BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget    Click Here to view large photo

Larry Ellison's hometown, San Francisco, has been named as the sole US Defence venue option for the 34th America's Cup by the Defender Golden Gate Yacht Club.

In a just released statement, Golden Gate YC says that the West Coast city 'has put forward a strong, wellrounded venue proposal, and is now the only city in the USA under consideration to host the 34th America’s Cup match.'

The decision excuses from further consideration other bids from San Diego, Long Beach and Newport, RI, however European options are still under consideration including the venue for the 32nd and 33rd America's Cup, the Spanish city of Valencia.

However it is believed that all US venues will participate in future Louis Vuitton Trophy series in some future time.

The announcement continues: 'The 34th America’s Cup is scheduled for 2013 or 2014, the year to be determined by infrastructure development lead-times.

'Our team has said from the outset that San Francisco and the Bay Area have the potential to provide a superb stage on which to host a memorable America’s Cup,' commented Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW Oracle Racing. 'Our team owner, Larry Ellison, has called the Bay ‘a fantastic natural amphitheatre’.'

'In being granted status as the sole venue candidate in the USA, San Francisco can forge ahead with plans to provide the necessary facilities for the America's Cup along the City's waterfront, south of the Bay Bridge. It also now allows San Francisco to 'nationalize' their efforts and to seek support from the State of California and the federal government in Washington, D.C.'


America’s Cup sites in San Francisco -  Erik Simonson/ h2oshots.com ©  
No announcement is made of exactly where in San Francisco the racing will be conducted, however it is certain that the 34th America's Cup will be sailed in excellent breezes. The yacht to be sailed in the regatta is yet to be announced however it is now certain to be moderate to heavy air orientated.

Golden Gate Yacht Club have taken it on themselves to make the decision on the venue, citing their right to do so under the 19th century Deed of Gift. 'Under the Cup’s governing rules, the Deed of Gift written in 1852, the winner and hence Defender for the next Match chooses the venue.'

That is a very interesting comment, given that the Challenger, under the same document has the right to name the yacht to be used and time of the Match (subject to certain constraints imposed by the Deed of Gift).

Despite the provisions of the Deed of Gift, the process for the selection of the yachts to be used seems to be a Defender led process, with the Challenger, Club Nautico di Roma taking a less proactive role. Indications from some Challengers appear to be that they expect that they will be told the parameters of the next match, although they have had discussions with the Defender since the 33rd America's Cup.

A series of trials involving 44ft monohulls and 40ft catamarans will be stage in Valencia, later this month, following which an announcement is expected as to whether the America's Cup will be sailed in a 22metre monohull or multiihull. The clear preference of the Challengers seem to be for a monohull, and few understand why a multihull is still under consideration.

San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom takes up the running: 'We are very honored to lead a national effort to host the 34th America’s Cup. Larry Ellison has a transformative vision for hosting the Cup on San Francisco Bay, and we are prepared to leverage the nation’s support to make this a coast-to-coast campaign and to realize that vision.'


Other US cities have been excited by the prospect of hosting the America’s Cup match, notably Newport, Rhode Island where Cup racing was held from 1930 through 1983, San Diego, California which hosted Cup defenses in 1988, 1992 and 1995, and Long Beach, California, site of the 1984 Olympic yachting regatta and the annual Congressional Cup.

BMW Oracle Racing's CEO, Russell Coutts said, 'We are extremely grateful to the other American candidates. Their disappointment is understandable as each would have been a great host city in its own
right. And we appreciate their offers of support to San Francisco going forward.

Strong expressions of interest from four European countries are also being studied by the American Defender. GGYC/BOR will announce a final decision on the venue, along with the date and other details of the next America’s Cup by the end of this year.




The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the perceived economic benefit of staging the 34th America's Cup in USA: (Mayor) Newsom has said the cup 'arguably is five Super Bowls in terms of stimulus.' The NFL estimates the Super Bowl generates $300 million to $500 million in local economic impact.

A city-commissioned study is due to be released next week on the economic benefit of holding the cup, which comprises months of races, but one city official said it would bring 'hundreds of millions of dollars' into local coffers and create 'thousands of jobs.'

As winner of the most recent cup, the decision on where the next regatta will be held lies with Ellison and his team. They intend to pick a site by the end of this year.

Officials in San Diego and Newport lobbied Ellison, but the Oracle CEO told a San Francisco audience in February that 'this has always been my favorite place to sail.'


Last month, Tom Ehman, spokesman for BMW Oracle Racing, said: 'Larry Ellison has said all along his top choice is San Francisco.'

The city has distinct advantages - its northern waterfront is one edge of a natural amphitheater also bounded by the Marin Headlands and Angel Island.

Races would primarily be run between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, city officials have said, giving spectators along Crissy Field, Marina Green and Fisherman's Wharf a front-row seat to a contest that has sometimes been held miles offshore.

For the full story in the SF Chronicle click here




by Richard Gladwell

  

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8:14 AM Thu 8 Jul 2010 GMT






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