The 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco has unveiled its race course area. Stretching across the city shoreline from Piers 27/29 out to near the Golden Gate Bridge, the course will enable to watch the action closer to shore than ever before in the 160 year history of the Cup.
“The input and cooperation we’ve received from Bay stakeholders and users has been invaluable in allowing us to reach this point,” says John Craig, the Principal Race Officer for the America’s Cup. “Now we can focus on setting up a race course that will allow the teams to compete and perform in a way that I think will really energize and excite this city.”
Tucked between Alcatraz and the city shoreline, the race course offers up-close viewing from any number of locations along the city front, with the Marina Green and Crissy Field among the prime locations. The exact location of the race course area will change slightly on any given day depending on weather conditions.
Environmental buffers and small boat access areas were prime considerations in setting up the racing box. A transit channel has been set up along the shore to allow ferry traffic, boats needing to transit in and out of the marinas as well as commercial fishing boats and other craft, to still operate safely during racing. The restricted area box is expected to be in place for three to four hours a day on scheduled race days.
“Following consultation with numerous Bay users, the Coast Guard have issued a draft Special Local Regulation (now in the 90-day public comment phase), that defines a restricted area where we can safely set up our race course area,” Craig says.
Racing in 2013 will take place in the catamaran yacht AC72 class; a new breed of America’s Cup boats, these wing-sailed catamarans are on the cutting edge of design, engineering and technology. Outrageously fast and requiring a crew with great athleticism as well as vast reserves of courage to sail, the AC72 yacht is designed for thrills and spills.
The 2013 racing season starts on July 4th, with the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, leading up to the America’s Cup Finals from September 7th-22nd.