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America’s Cup Momentum …

September 26, 2014

Bermuda shorts, or fish tacos and margaritas? What will the flavour of the next America’s Cup be?

One year after one of the biggest comebacks in sport, regatta officials are still sorting out details for the 2017 event.

They haven’t picked a venue, although it’ll be either Bermuda or San Diego. They’ve yet to announce a major sponsor or TV deal, or the schedule for warmup regattas for the next two years.

Many in sailing feel the America’s Cup has frittered away all the momentum it gained in the mainstream sports world when the once-stodgy sport zoomed fully into the 21st century on space-age catamarans that skimmed across San Francisco Bay on hydrofoils in September, 2013.

Oracle Team USA rallied to win eight straight races to stun Team New Zealand and keep the Auld Mug in the United States.

So what does America’s Cup czar Russell Coutts say to the critics?

”You’re wrong,” Coutts said during a recent visit to San Diego to meet with government officials and potential sponsors.

Coutts was then headed to Los Angeles to meet with television executives as he continues to try to sell his vision of stadium sailing that’s accessible to TV viewers as well as spectators lining the shore.


Council backs hosting of 35th America’s Cup in San Diego

September 12, 2014

City Council on Aug. 7 passed a resolution brought forward by District 2 Councilman Ed Harris in support of San Diego hosting the 35th America’s Cup to be held in the summer of 2017.
The Unified Port District of San Diego submitted a proposal to the America’s Cup Event Authority to host the race, and on July 8, San Diego achieved finalist status. San Diego, in the running against Bermuda for the host city selection, hosted the America’s Cup in 1988, 1992 and 1995.

A final decision on the venue is expected before the end of the year.

“San Diego already has the infrastructure in place for the America’s Cup, and we know what it takes to host this event,” Harris said. “This breathtaking spectator sport would be a boost to our economy, and we could once again showcase America’s Finest City to the world at this international sporting event.”

“The City of San Diego’s support and partnership are essential as we pursue the opportunity to host the 35th America’s Cup,” said Unified Port District of San Diego chairman Bob Nelson. “San Diego is a ‘can do’ region, with a sailing tradition as strong as anywhere you can find, and we have unrivaled experience in coming together to host major special events. Our collaborative regional approach gives our destination a strong advantage in this competitive process.”

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who represented City Council District 2 for nearly two full terms before being elected mayor, agreed.

“San Diego hasn’t hosted an America’s Cup in nearly 20 years, and bringing it back to San Diego could be great for our city,” he said. “This would be a phenomenal opportunity to showcase San Diego to the rest of the world.”

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport and is the pinnacle of the sport of sailing. The port district’s proposal calls for sailing in north San Diego Bay, unlike previous America’s Cup races held off the coast of San Diego.

Read more: San Diego Community News Group – Council backs hosting of 35th America s Cup in San Diego

America’s Cup: Five reasons San Diego should host

Published on by , Sailing Scuttlebutt

The candidates to host the America’s Cup in 2017 are down to San Diego and Bermuda. U-T San Diego sports writer Bill Center and Bermuda Sun Deputy Sports Editor Don Burgess state their case for why the event should be hosted in their respective homes…


THE ARENA: San Diego Bay is likely the world’s best venue for “arena sailing.” Oracle USA CEO Russell Coutts and skipper James Spithill are on record agreeing on that. Viewer areas and supporting America’s Cup “villages” could easily be constructed along San Diego’s Embarcadero and waterfront piers, Coronado and Harbor Island. The racers would never be out of sight. Better even than San Francisco. Far superior to Bermuda, where the races would have to be offshore.

SHORESIDE FACILITIES: San Diego already has in place the shore facilities needed by the up to five teams expected to compete in the challenger semifinals and finals of the 35th America’s Cup. San Diego hosted larger fleets for the RC-44 championships in 2011 and the America’s Cup World Series event in 2012 without any problems. The Broadway and B Street piers would easily house the teams and the media, with no new construction required. The organization to run the event is also already in place.

CONNECTIONS: The official defender of the America’s Cup (Golden Gate Yacht Club) is in California, not Bermuda. There is no precedent for a U.S. defender to host a defense in a foreign land. San Diego already has strong ties to the defending Oracle USA organization, which trained in San Diego for almost two years while preparing for its successful challenge in 2010.

HISTORY: San Diego has had involvement in the America’s Cup since 1967. It hosted three defenses, in 1988, 1992 and 1995 when the protocol called for the races to be sailed far offshore. Skipper Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup for San Diego Yacht Club in 1987 off Fremantle, Western Australia. Plus, San Diego annually stages more major races than any other area in the world. The skilled personnel needed to administer an event such as the America’s Cup is in place.

SAILING CONDITIONS: The event would be held in June and the first week of July in 2017. Normal conditions call for steady afternoon breezes of 8-12 knots on San Diego Bay, perfect conditions for the 62-foot catamarans that ride on their foils at 7 knots. Not only will the new America’s Cup courses fit perfectly on San Diego Bay, the shape of the area would eliminate the need for the out-of-bounds barriers needed in San Francisco and in Bermuda to keep the boats bunched together. Weather in Bermuda is far more variable.

– See more at: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2014/07/13/americas-cup-five-reasons-san-diego-bermuda-host/#sthash.yTHNhZh7.dpuf

The ‘San Diego Plan’ to host the next America’s Cup

September 11, 2014

by Editor, Sailing Scuttlebutt

The venue search for the 35th America’s Cup has narrowed the finalists to Bermuda, Chicago and San Diego. The leader among the venues appears to be San Diego, which has both consistent weather and event experience. The plan is for the racing to be held inside San Diego Bay.

“San Diego clicks a lot of boxes,” remarked defense CEO Russell Coutts. “The boats might be maneuvering every minute and a half. It would be a highly technical course in the AC 62 and would lay out quite well for spectators and sponsor fulfillment.”

The ‘San Diego Plan’ uses two downtown cruise ship terminals for the activity hub. The teams will be based at the B Street Pier while the adjacent Broadway Pier will be the public village. The start and finish would be off the Broadway Pier, with the course extending from Coronado Bridge to Harbor Island.

Involved in the San Diego bid is Troy Sears, who helped form Sailing Events Association (SEA) San Diego to promote major sailboat racing events in San Diego for the benefit of the local economy. Troy provides an update on the selection process…

What gives San Diego the confidence to host the America’s Cup?

The leadership of the Port of San Diego understands they have some very valuable assets, such as the B Street Pier and the Broadway Pier, and have made the commitment to maintain them. These piers are in great condition and well suited for a variety of uses.

As a result, to host the America’s Cup, we won’t have large capital costs needed to make improvements. Our infrastructure is ready to go. We can formulate a plan that does not require investment. The Broadway Pavilion is a fantastic facility for hosting events, and it is ready to go. This is a substantial difference from the other cities.

Additionally, we have hosted the America’s Cup before. The event has been here in ’88, ’92 and ’95, with the event in ’95 ending in the black. We know the 2017 event has to financially perform, and we understand how to make that happen.

Explain the sailing venue.

What we propose to do with the race course, positioning it in the Bay, has already proven itself successful when we hosted an RC44 class regatta and the AC World Series in 2011. Through those events, it was demonstrated that San Diego Bay is a tremendous venue for stadium sailing.

The natural landscape brings people close to the event, and it will be the harbor that defines the course. This will make it very easy for fans to recognize that when boats get to the edge of the course, they will need to turn. If boats don’t turn, they will hit the shoreline. The boundaries will be very understandable.

Additionally, the public is going to have a great view of the team bases. Watching the boats get launched, and seeing the wings get raised and lowered, is quite a show, and something the public missed out on during the 2013 America’s Cup.

What are some of the other advantages for San Diego?

We may not have strong winds on a regular basis, but we always have wind in the afternoons. The consistency of our conditions will insure the schedule will not be affected; racing will happen when it is supposed to happen. So with minimal investment needed, and solid political support, I like our chances.

Why does the venue selection take so much time?

The process takes time to generate local support once a city has been notified that their bid has been accepted. You have to educate government; you have to educate the community entities that you hope will provide financial support. That’s not a one day, one week, one month process.

Since we were notified at the start of the year, the organizational group in San Diego, which is lead by the Port of San Diego, has been working very diligently. Additionally, all the community supporters, lead by SEA San Diego, are putting in a full-time effort as well. From our perspective, we don’t see the process dragging on. Quite the opposite, we feel we need all this time to fulfill the requirements and meet the deadlines.

These events are complicated. They require a huge commitment by local cities. The assets must get lined up, such as the piers, along with the services such as fire and police. Time is also needed to sort out the city codes that may impact the organizational plan.

We understand that the challengers need to know the venue location, and every sense I have gotten is that everyone is pushing as hard as possible to make that happen.

What kind of support is needed to host the event?

While we are pursuing local corporate support, what the America’s Cup Event Authority is looking for is broad support. They want to insure that our community is behind the event and will support it. From the political sector, the public sector, and the business sector, San Diego has demonstrated loud and clear that this support is in place.

When the America’s Cup had previously been in San Diego, it was not a hugely popular event. What makes the City think the 35th America’s Cup will be an attraction?

The previous events were held 3 miles off the coast. The team bases were scattered around the harbor and curtained off. It was pretty hard for people to know what was going on. And even when you went out on the ocean to watch, the motion of the ocean was not comfortable for a lot of people. However, the event has now evolved, and this new model in the Bay, in front of the City, and accessible from shore, is a huge change. The interest already is phenomenal.

Note: The field of finalists will be narrowed to two venues by the end of June. The final venue is to be selected no later than December 31, 2014.


The ‘San Diego Plan’ to host the 35th America’s Cup – See more at: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2014/06/16/san-diego-plan-host-35th-americas-cup/#sthash.b5Nw5kHh.dpuf

San Diego best place for America’s Cup

by Bill Center, U-T San Diego

San Diego is the perfect venue for the 35th America’s Cup.

For a number of reasons, starting with San Diego Bay as the arena and including the city’s history in the America’s Cup, San Diego has it all over Bermuda when it comes to hosting the next defense in 2017.

Bermuda does have one thing going for it – money.

San Diego will not be offering the financial incentives Bermuda will present in the final bids to earn the rights to host the 35th defense.

Bermuda is already on record saying the 2017 event will be tax-free for all participants and Bermuda organizers have indicated their final bid will include other financial rewards.

And, let’s face it . . . money talks.

But if pure dollars are removed from the equation, Bermuda has only one thing to offer that San Diego can’t match – a better television time for Europe.

That’s it.

San Diego has a better race course for both racers and viewers, better facilities that are already in place, a stronger cadre of necessary officials needed to run such an event, already strong ties to the Oracle USA defenders, a history in the event and a great destination for visitors.

“The America’s Cup is part of our DNA,” Malin Burnham said last week after Chicago was eliminated as a possible host for the 2017 America’s Cup.

The host will be either San Diego or Bermuda.

“We deserve to get the event for so many reasons,” said Bob Nelson, the chairman of the Port Commissioners. “I have been astounded by the amount of cooperation and support this proposal has received from public agencies, civic groups and corporate organizations.

“I think the chance to again host the America’s Cup has created enthusiasm and partnerships that we haven’t witnessed in a long time.”

The Port of San Diego is the official bidder for the 35th America’s Cup. But support is widespread and includes the cities of San Diego and Coronado and a wide range of organizations connected to San Diego Bay, sailing and the promotion of San Diego.

Even before the Port of San Diego made its first formal bid for the 2017 defense, Nelson had in his hands a blueprint from SEA San Diego on how the event could be managed and run. SEA San Diego had run two events – the RC-44 World Championships in 2011 and a leg of the America’s Cup World Series in 2012 – on the same course using the same facilities.

“We were able to forward a comprehensive plan from the start and our bid has gotten stronger since,” said Nelson.

San Diego has hosted three previous America’s Cups in 1988, 1992 and 1995. But those were sailed offshore over a span of five months with competing teams housed in compounds stretching from Mission Bay to Coronado.

This America’s Cup would be raced on San Diego Bay over a span of just over a month with all the teams housed on a pier less than a half-mile from the start-finish line. Viewing areas would be constructed along the Embarcadero, on Coronado and on Harbor Island. America’s Cup villages would support the viewing areas.


Port of San Diego Makes America’s Cup Shortlist

San Diego has been shortlisted as one of two final potential host cities for the 35th America’s Cup, according to the organizers of the renowned sailing event.

The Port of San Diego is the lead agency carrying forward the region’s bid for hosting the event.

“We are energized and honored to be one of the two final venues being considered for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017,” said Port of San DiegoChairman Bob Nelson. “San Diego Bay is a highly competitive and desirable venue for the most prestigious sailing event in the world. We’re enthusiastic about this opportunity, while mindful of both the potential benefits and costs of hosting the ‘Super Bowl of sailing.’ We look forward to working with the City of San Diego and other regional partners as we close this deal with the America’s Cup Event Authority.”

Chairman Nelson announced the formation of an America’s Cup 35 Ad Hoc Committee to continue working on the region’s bid for the event. Port Vice Chairman Dan Malcolm will chair the committee, and its members will include Nelson and Commissioner Garry Bonelli.

“Both Bermuda and San Diego have made very compelling cases to be the host for the next America’s Cup,” said Russell Coutts, Director of the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA). “We will be in good hands with either venue.”

San Diego is one of only seven cities to have hosted the America’s Cup. When the Cup was previously held there in 1988, 1992 and 1995, the race course was far offshore, on the ocean waters beyond Point Loma. But if San Diego were selected as the venue this time, racing would take place in San Diego Bay, offering incredible viewing opportunities for spectators along the city’s waterfront.

To advance the venue selection process over the coming months, the America’s Cup Event Authority will work closely with both venues to finalize logistics requirements and commercial opportunities, as well as to establish the needed relationships with private and public entities to ensure a successful event.

It is through this process that the final host city for the next America’s Cup will emerge.

The host city for the next America’s Cup will be announced by ACEA before the end of 2014.


UT San Diego: SD must seal deal for 2017 America’s Cup

By U-T San Diego Editorial Board

It’s time to add another wonderful chapter to San Diego’s history. The local team negotiating with America’s Cup officials to bring the 35th edition of sailing’s greatest showcase back to San Diego in 2017 reports that it has established that the city has the necessary logistics to support the event and to host the crews and visitors it would attract.

Now the team needs to establish that the event would be commercially successful, says SEA San Diego board member Troy Sears. He’s been working with the Unified Port of San Diego, which in February gave the go-ahead to seek the host role and would be the government body contracting with the America’s Cup organization.

The push to cross this second hurdle began last week with an event at the San Diego Yacht Club hosted by Ed Plant of Harborside Refrigerated Services, a major port tenant. Sears said it brought together port officials, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, business executives and leaders of the Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Economic Development Corp., who were excited about the economic benefits and the international attention the event would bring.

“San Diego hasn’t hosted an America’s Cup in nearly 20 years and bringing it back to San Diego could be great for our city,” the mayor said in an email. “This effort would be a phenomenal opportunity to showcase San Diego to the rest of the world.”



America’s Cup World Series San Diego Receives Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas Certification

December 19, 2011

Sustainability efforts and commitment to promote ocean health key to week long activities


Newport, Rhode Island – December 13, 2011 – Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community, is proud to announce that the America’s Cup World Series San Diego earned the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas certification at the silver level. The America’s Cup Event Authority’s (ACEA) commitment to Clean Regattas practices resulted in environmentally focused activities throughout the event. The Clean Regattas certificates were presented to Bob Nelson, San Diego Port Commissioner, on behalf of the local organizing committee, and to the America’s Cup Event Authority.

Read about the Green Docks Project

“The San Diego community benefitted greatly from the diligent and focused efforts of ACEA and the commitment of the race teams to implement the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program,” said Annie Brett, program specialist, Sailors for the Sea. “ACEA has now completed three events and continues to succeed in their goals for environmental sustainability throughout the AC World Series.”

Clean Regattas Efforts at America’ Cup – San Diego
Clean Regattas certification provides independent, third-party verification that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect and restore the waters upon which people sail. This program is an effort by Sailors for the Sea, in conjunction with committed participants, to reduce our impact on our oceans and coastal waters.

“The ACEA remains committed to delivering sustainable events and achieving the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas best practices,” said Neill Duffy, Director of Sustainability, ACEA. “The ACEA and our partners raised the bar in San Diego over previous AC World Series events by delivering additional activities to protect the environment, such as providing public drinking water refilling stations and adhering to strict stormwater pollution prevention measures.”

At the America’s Cup World Series San Diego, ACEA undertook several Clean Regattas best practice efforts, including:

  • Water Bottle Reduction – Event organizers reduced disposable water bottle use by providing the entire event workforce with reusable water bottles, and implementing water refilling systemsfor staff, public and teams.
  • Green team – Champions in each America’s Cup facility worked to ensure on-shore recycling efforts ran smoothly, and volunteers worked to ensure trash from the 120,000+ onsite viewers was properly disposed of.
  • Trash-free regatta and recycling – Prominent and abundant placement of trash and recycling receptacles in the race village and spectator areas.
  • Non-toxic cleaning products – non-toxic cleaning products used in all event facilities.
  • Oil Spill Prevention- Oil spill kits available at marina fueling stations and onboard race management boats, and the use of fuel spill pads when fueling.
  • Stormwater pollution prevention – Strict measures in place to prevent runoff.
  • Bottom Paint – Non- toxic, copper-free bottom paint on all race management boats. Race boats are bottom paint free.
  • Bottom Cleaning – Race management boats are only in the water for 10-15 days and therefore do not to need to be scrubbed. Once they are pulled out they are sprayed down over the harbor before leaving to prevent spread of any invasive species between locations.
  • No Discharge – All vessels with holding tanks were pumped out at proper facilities on shore.
  • Maintenance – Maintenance was conducted in covered areas with vacuums available to clean up all dust.
  • Compost – Food waste composted by all back of house hospitality and food vendors.
  • Sustainable Sea Life – Only Monterey Bay Aquarium “Best Choice” sustainable seafood served in VIP hospitality areas.

ACEA and America’s Cup Race Management are tracking sustainability metrics in order to understand and improve performance at each AC World Series event; for example, the amount of fuel consumed and the amount of recycling collected.

Attention yacht clubs and event organizers: to make an event a Clean Regatta visit www.cleanregattas.org.

About Sailors for the Sea

Founded in 2004, Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and local waters. For more information or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit www.sailorsforthesea.org.

About the America’s Cup

At 160 years old, the America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. The America’s Cup has evolved into one of the world’s leading sporting competitions – featuring the best sailors on the world’s fastest boats, the wing-sailed AC45 and AC72 catamarans. The new America’s Cup World Series runs August 2011 – June 2012. In the summer of 2013, the 34th America’s Cup begins with the Louis Vuitton Cup July 4-September 1, followed by the America’s Cup Finals September 7-22. For more information, visit www.americascup.com.

# # #


  • Water Bottle Reduction – Reduce single-use, disposable water bottles at the event site by providing Water Stations and Reusable Bottles to participants (participants can also be expected to provide their own reusable bottles).
  • Trash Free Regatta – Keep shores and waters clear of debris. Overboard discharge of trash and littering at shore facilities (e.g., rigging tape, cigarette butts, bottles, and cans) should be prevented.
  • Regatta Awards – Present race awards and trophies that contain recycled materials, as available. Alternatively, present awards that have a practical use, such as foul weather gear or boat gear.
  • Green Team – Assemble a team to work on shore and sea cleanup, oversee recycling operations, and communicate the goals and agenda of the program throughout the event.
  • Recycling – Provide recycling services at shore facilities for participants to deposit separated recyclable materials (e.g. bottles, cans, paper).

Hundreds of local school children tour America’s Cup Event Village

December 8, 2011

During the first four days of the America’s Cup World Series in San Diego, over 70 youth group organizations were invited to participate in tours of the event village and team bases. This community outreach was mostly to disadvantaged kids many of whom have never even been on a boat. The groups were from several different parts of San Diego County and included Kids Korp, ABC Youth Foundation, San Diego Center for Children, San Diego Girl Scouts, South Bay YMCA and many more. By the end of the day on Tuesday, over two hundred kids had been inside a sailing simulator, seen a close-up tour of the America’s Cup boats and teams, and then learned about ocean conservation and the science of sailing through hands-on exhibits from the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, the Port of San Diego and several environmental groups.

America's Cup World Series San DiegoHeading up this volunteer campaign was Julie Servais from SEA San Diego. Julie and her husband, David Servais are new business owners in the area, with their eco-friendly rigging shop, SD Boatworks, located on Shelter Island. Julie started the work of inviting groups over a month ago by contacting the group leaders or supervisors and then booking the tours. “The last four days have been the real fun part” says David Servais, who lead the tours, “The kids just get so excited in the simulator, and then when we tell them they can go see the boats in ‘real life’ they are totally amped!”

The tours were held during the Port Cities Regatta on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the following two practice days. As well as these organized tours, hundreds of youth sailors came with their coaches and parents to a “Sneak Peek” preview event on the Wednesday before the event where they had a talk plus Q&A session with several famous America’s Cup sailors including the skipper of Team Artemis and the design team coordinator for Oracle Racing. SEA San Diego is a local non-profit organization that promotes major sailboat racing events in San Diego for the benefit of the local community.

Full List of organizations contacted on behalf of SEA San Diego:

Barrio Logan College Institute
Boy Scouts of San Diego
Mid-City Community Advocacy Network
Sea Scouts
Ocean Discovery Institute
Somali Youth League
Youth Empowerment Focus
Pro Kids
SAY San Diego/Latino Youth Council
International Rescue Committee Youth Programs Department
Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program
San Diego Asian Youth Organization
Outdoor Outreach
Clay and Rolondo Park Elementary School
San Diego Police Department Multi-Cultural Community Relations Office

ORACLE Racing Spithill wins fleet racing

November 21, 2011

San Diego saved the best for last, testing the international America’s Cup World Series fleet with the strongest winds of the week, with gusts approaching 20 knots on Sunday afternoon, making for great racing conditions. The teams didn’t disappoint the fans gathered on Broadway and Navy Piers – the race was full of intrigue, with plenty of lead changes on the race course, and lots of near misses and thrills and spills from start to finish.

ORACLE Racing Spithill, winners on Saturday of the Match Racing Championship, came from behind to win the Fleet Racing Championship, becoming the first team to secure a double win at the AC World Series. Once again, team principal Larry Ellison was on board with the team today.

“It is very easy to forget how far we’ve come in a very short space of time,” said Richard Worth, Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “Three months ago the America’s Cup World Series didn’t even exist. Now, we have had three spectacular events, thanks largely to our sailors, these sportsmen of outstanding quality. We have created a stunning sporting event. We saw that today, with some outstanding sport, inches between the boats at the end and real drama throughout. So through a very short space of time the America’s Cup World Series has absolutely come alive.”

Results – San Diego Fleet Racing Championship
1. ORACLE Racing Spithill
2. Emirates Team New Zealand
3. Energy Team
4. Aleph
5. Team Korea
6. Artemis Racing
7. China Team
8. Green Comm Racing
9. ORACLE Racing Coutts

Results – AC500 Speed Trial
ORACLE Racing – Coutts – 26.87 knots
ORACLE Racing – Spithill – 26.79 knots
Emirates Team New Zealand – 26.56 knots
Artemis Racing – 25.98 knots
Energy Team – 25.96 knots
China Team – 25.67 knots
ALEPH – 25.19 knots
Green Comm Racing – 24.74 knots
Team Korea – 24.30 knots

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