The Maritime Report: America's Cup moves on

The Maritime Report: America's Cup moves on

Dave Bloch

Photo by Dave Bloch.

Well, the word came out last week: San Francisco is NOT on the short list for America's Cup 35, to be held in 2017. The loss of the event is being spun all kinds of different ways, but I think the objective way of putting it is this: San Francisco was not going to treat this like a Super Bowl - an event pretty much guaranteed to generate huge profits for local businesses and lots of net revenue to the city. Although AC34 was a lot of fun and brought tremendous exposure to the Bay Area, San Francisco took an $11 million loss that it really couldn't afford.

So the message to Larry Ellison and Oracle Racing was, "We would really love to have you, but you're going to need to pay the freight this time." Other cities are offering to take some financial risk in 2017, and that seems to be the most important thing this time.

Meanwhile, plans call for several events happening worldwide using the smaller AC45 catamarans, and our bay could certainly still be a venue for one or more of those. The "World Series" events will COUNT this time - that is, winning teams will score points that will benefit them in the preliminary challengers' events to select the one team that will race against Oracle in AC35. The very popular Youth America's Cup events will also be continued; these races were some of the most fun and exciting that we watched last year.

So we have two questions remaining:

WHERE will the America's Cup be held? The best guesses seem to be Bermuda, San Diego, or Chicago. (Chicago?? Apparently Lake Michigan is considered an "arm of the sea" and therefore eligible under the original Deed of Gift that sets the primary rules for the America's Cup. If you know any ocean sailors, ask them how they feel about that idea.)

And, will Artemis Racing stay in Alameda? They still have team members on Alameda Point, and sometimes they're seen out on the bay in their AC45. Press releases from Artemis Racing go out worldwide with ALAMEDA as the byline; it's nice to be known as a center for international racing.

Stay tuned for all that.


Submitted by Louis (not verified) on Thu, Jun 19, 2014

SF Bay was far to windy for the flimsy 72 ft platforms with rigid wings!
Let's get back to sailing vessels which can arrive by sea and can 3stand what the oceans and bays like sf can present to their hulls.

Submitted by tom (not verified) on Mon, Jun 30, 2014

Yes I agree SF Bay is no place for flimsy 72 ft platforms with rigid wings.
The america's cup has turned into a nascar race with only two contestants.
What a degradation to ideals of seamanship and ocean racing.