The Maritime Report

The Maritime Report

Dave Bloch

"Strictly Sail" comes to the Bay next week

Strictly Sail, the biggest all-sailing show on the West Coast, comes to Jack London Square next Thursday through Sunday, April 11-14. (Although you need a ticket for most of it, you can go wandering around the outside booths and soak up the nautical atmosphere for free. If the last nine months of reading this blog has made you curious about the sport, you might want to stop by! Info at http://strictlysailpacific.com.

"Alameda Business and the Cup" presentation April 11

Jack Griffin, expert on "all things America's Cup," is in town for the Strictly Sail show, but is making a trip across the Estuary to give a special presentation to Alameda business owners on strategies to earn business benefits from the promotion, interest and excitement around the AC34 events. The event will be held at Oakland Yacht Club at 8 a.m. on Thursday; the $10 fee includes a continental breakfast. Your Maritime Reporter is helping to organize this and handling RSVPs, so if you're interested in coming or would like more information, you can send an e-mail to dave@virtualameda.com. To learn a lot more about Jack (and about the America's Cup events as well), you can visit his website at http://www.cupexperience.com.

America's Cup launch event April 3

The America's Cup Event Authority invited the press and Bay Area businesses to a big kickoff event in the brand-new San Francisco Cruise Ship Terminal on April 3. Speakers included ACEA CEO Stephen Barclay; John Craig, the principal race officer for America's Cup Race Management; and Paul Cayard and Russell Coutts, the CEOs of Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA, respectively. (Teams from New Zealand and Italy are on their way to the Bay Area at this writing.)

The speakers gave an overview of the entire "Summer of Racing" (a phrase you'll see on a lot of America's Cup materials this summer). There will be as many as 50 days of racing out on the central Bay, with excellent viewing from Marina Green, the historic ship Jeremiah O'Brien, Pier 39, and Piers 27-29 in San Francisco. The ACEA has dubbed Marina Green "America's Cup Village," while Piers 27-29 are the "America's Cup Park."

There will be lots of places to see the races for free, but grandstand seating on Marina Green will be available for as little as $15. Options go up from there; bench seating out on the spit between the Golden Gate and St. Francis yacht clubs is $60; the "Rooftop Lounge" on the top level of the parking structure at Pier 39 is $300, which includes food and beverages. A third of the grandstand seating has already been sold, so it sounds like it is not too early to think about the races you'd like to see.

You can see the races out on the water, of course. If you or a friend own a boat, you can venture out there and find a space outside the protected area of the race course. There are also 20 commercial vessels that have registered with the ACEA who will be allowed in a narrow band just inside the protected area, along with the working boats from the teams, events authority and race management. Costs and services for these charter and per-person cruises will vary.

We are still waiting for details on which races will be televised in the Bay Area, locally on cable television and nationally on NBC. But Craig told the audience that they intend to have streaming video of the races, beginning with the very first one on July 7.

It should be a very exciting summer on the Bay!

PHOTOS: Cruise Terminal Exterior; Cruise Terminal Interior (second floor); Artemis CEO Paul Cayard and Oracle Team USA CEO Russell Coutts on stage. Photos by Dave Bloch.