San Diego Prepares for America’s Cup World Series

With just one month to go until the America’s Cup World Series – San Diego, the event organizers are finalizing preparations to host nine of the best sailing teams in the world, who will be racing close to shore in the stadium setting of San Diego Bay.

The America’s Cup World Series is an extreme experience – cutting edge wing-sailed catamarans flying at speeds over 30 miles per hour; short, sharp, intense races on courses squeezed into the Bay to ensure close action; and a mix of fleet and match racing, to test the abilities of the best sailing teams in the world.

“I think the competition in San Diego Bay is going to be fantastic,” said Iain Murray, Regatta Director. “The racing will be very close to shore, which means it will be great for spectators. The short courses will also be very challenging for the sailors, who will need to execute their crew maneuvers flawlessly to be successful. And having been there for the America’s Cup in 1992 and 1995, I’m personally looking forward to enjoying the hospitality of San Diego again.”

Bringing the racing into the Bay makes a sharp contrast to when the Cup was previously in San Diego and races were held offshore, past Point Loma. Now, the AC Village will be on Harbor Drive, where spectators will be able to see the racing from Broadway Pier, as well as at the AC Experience at Harbor Island, one of the best views of the course.

“I love an active and exciting waterfront, and this is exactly the kind of event that brings people out.  Anyone – whether you sail or not yourself – can come out and see some great racing and a world class sports event right from our own shoreline,” said Scott Peters, Chairman, Board of Port Commissioners.  “A ton of people will be coming down to the bay front to watch the races, enjoy the activities in the America’s Cup Village and visit our hotels and restaurants, and that’s great for sailing and for San Diego.”

For the teams, San Diego marks the third stop on the America’s Cup World Series, which awards points for both the overall Match Racing and Fleet Racing Championship. The 2011-2012 World Series concludes July 1st in Newport, Rhode Island.

The nine crews competing in the America’s Cup World Series represent seven nations, and several of the more experienced sailors in the fleet recall their previous Cup days in San Diego with fondness.

“I am really excited to race in San Diego again,” said Bertrand Pacé, the skipper of the French Aleph team. “I sailed in two Louis Vuitton Cups there in the 1990s and I learned an awful lot about the America’s Cup there. We all have great memories of that period. To go back and race AC45s in the Bay next month will be completely different. The game has moved on a lot over the past 16 years, but I’m sure that the warmth of San Diego hasn’t changed at all.”

The America’s Cup World Series – San Diego has its opening weekend on November 12 and 13, ahead of the racing for AC World Series points in the Match and Fleet Racing Championships, which run from November 16-20.

Text via 34th America’s Cup. Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget / America’s Cup