The official beginning of the America’s racing in lovely San Francisco Bay is upon us, and if you’re not an avid sailing fanatic, you’ll want a bit (just enough) information to get you out enjoying the action this week and through to the AC Finals in 2013 (Perhaps even enough information to discuss the America’s Cup at one of your favorite coffee shops.)
First you’ll need to know where to go to watch.
You can pretty much go to any part of of the northern end of San Francisco and you’ll be able to see the action. There are definitely some higher vantage points and any number of homes in Pacific Heights that will be bragging about their view being better than yours, but forget about them, focus on you. Unless you live in the north end of town, I would suggest getting to and from your viewing area of choice on bike…it’s going to be a madhouse.
Second, you’ll need to know why, and for what, these boats are competing. What is all this hype about racing today, since San Francisco has the America’s Cup in 2013? Today racing begins for what is called the AC World Series…smaller boats, same venue, different trophy. The World Series comes back to San Francisco in October, then leaves for Venice and Naples Italy. Then from July til end of September 2013 we’ll see the return of America’s Cup action to San Francisco when the BIG AC72s come to our waters to compete for the Louis Vuitton Cup, and ultimately the America’s Cup Finals. Unless the wind decides to die that time of year (not likely), the racing action is going to be awesome! The only thing I’d think we’d need to worry ourselves with would be the fog and freezing temperatures that make San Francisco summers so famous. All you tourists make sure to bring jackets and long pants…this ain’t Newport, Rhode Island.
Finally, you’ll need to know what those strange objects zipping across the water are made of, and what makes them so special. This week, August 21-26, we will not see the big big boats sailing our waters. Although massive, and insanely fast in comparison to anything we’re used to seeing on the Bay, the boats this week are what they call the AC45s, as opposed to the AC72s we’ll see here in 2013 for the Louis Vuitton, and America’s Cup Finals.
The mast height on an AC72 is 131.2 feet! That’s the equivalent of a 13 story building! How many of you work downtown? Step outside and look up, count 13 stories, and be amazed.
Have a look at this video to see these boats in action and learn even more about what’s in store for San Francisco:
That should be just enough information to get you through this week and into next year, because if you and the people around you aren’t talking at least a little bit about the excitement that is the America’s Cup and what it will bring to San Francisco, you’ll need to climb out from under that rock and embrace the city you call home. If anybody out there needs a good strong set of arms and hands to crank some winches and hoist some sails, I am available.
Visit the Official America’s Cup Website for more information, and get your sail on!