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Emirates Team New Zealand opening day of the Louis Vuitton - Nick Sebastian (copyright protected, WorldWide Communications.)

Emirates Team New Zealand opening day of the Louis Vuitton Cup – Nick Sebastian 

Summer of Racing is on, or is it?

In 2012 eleven AC45 boats competed in the America’s Cup World Series races in Aug. and Oct. here on the San Francisco Bay. Brilliantly colored sails created a backdrop along the shoreline that made Bay Area residents proud to be part of this exciting event. Driving down to the Marina Green from the Golden Gate Bridge, you could see the eleven 45s trailing each other and felt enveloped in the exhilarating quilting of their magnificent sails.

Move forward to 2013 and only four countries entered the 34th America’s Cup Challenge. Only four countries could rally the money to create and produce the intricately designed 72′ catamaran, fastest AC boat yet. The design (orchestrated by Larry Ellison) pushed the cost to near and above  $100 million, and the number of teams dwindled from the originally anticipated 12-14 to just four.

Short on entries being a big enough disappointment to all the event planners, the capsizing and destruction of ORACLE TEAM USA’s AC72 then made people begin to question the safety of these largest/fastest boats ever. Next, Sweden’s boat (Artemis Racing) capsized during training and we experienced the tragic loss of one of their crew, Andrew Simpson. A dark and heavy fog hung over the SF Bay that ninth day of May 2013.

Then there was a huddle of the racing experts, an international Jury put in place and 37 new safety measures recommended by the Regatta Director and America’s Cup Event Authority to ensure the safety of the upcoming races. Though all four teams cooperated with the race leadership, protests were heard. And finally the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, begins on July 7 – with only one boat on the course, Emirates Team New Zealand. Due to the tragic accident, Artemis Racing’s boat would not be ready to race until August, leaving only Luna Rossa Challenge to compete against ETNZ. But the Italians held out, refusing to race until they heard the results of their protest application, which occurred on Thurs., July 11.

How anticlimactic for viewers to watch only one boat sail the course the opening day of the Louis Vuitton Cup. It was not a race at all. The excitement of watching the huge 72’ cat foil over the Bay with both hulls out of the water was there, but the enthusiasm for the AC Challenge was missing.

Then Sat., July 13 the first actual race of the Louis Vuitton Cup took place on San Francisco Bay! Luna Rossa and ETNZ competed with ETNZ winning the race by over five minutes. Sun., July 21 ETNZ and Luna Rossa competed and although they lost their jib, ETNZ won by two minutes, 19 seconds. They will compete two more times this month: July 23 and July 28 at 12:15pm. As it is now, ETNZ and Luna Rossa will each sail solo on the days they are scheduled to race Artemis. Great news that Artemis Racing launched their second AC72 Mon., July 22 in Alameda and will join the race by the beginning of the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals on Aug. 6. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will challenge the defender Larry Ellison’s ORACLE TEAM USA for the America’s Cup in September. Stay tuned as this race gets it on!

Our friends at Sail-World offer up some great photos for the first two boat race in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenge.


Save these Dates

Louis Vuitton Cup races started July 7, 2013.

Ginger & Parker waiting for their transport to the Louis Vuitton Cup races

Ginger & Parker waiting for their transport to the Louis Vuitton Cup races

Louis Vuitton Cup Finals: August 17–30. First to win 7 advances to the America’s Cup as the Challenger to ORACLE TEAM USA

  • Saturday, August 17, Race 1 and Race 2
  • Sunday, August 18, Race 3 and Race 4
  • Wednesday, August 21, Race 5 and Race 6
  • Saturday, August 24, Race 7 and Race 8**
  • Races to continue, if needed

The 34th America’s Cup: September 7–21, first to win 9 takes home the Cup

  • Saturday, September 7, Race 1 and Race 2
  • Sunday, September 8, Race 3 and Race 4
  • Tuesday, September 10, Race 5 and Race 6
  • Thursday, September 12, Race 7 and Race 8
  • Saturday, September 14, Race 9 and Race 10**
  • Races to continue, if needed

Jim DeWitt Releases America’s Cup Series Paintings

More eyes on sailboat racing

More eyes on sailboat racing

 “The America’s Cup is a very exciting race. Let’s get more eyes on a great sport–sailboat racing.” Jim DeWitt

If you have been sailing in the San Francisco Bay over the years, you probably know him for his sailing accomplishments and recognize his unique artistic style – Jim DeWitt, Artist-in-Residence for the 34th America’s Cup challenge. Jim has an uncanny way of capturing the high energy and sheer beauty of sailboats in action, and his renditions of the AC45s and AC72s are equally compelling.

Jim’s America’s Cup oil paintings are on view at the Richmond Art Center’s ‘Racing for the Cup’ exhibit, running through August 23rd and at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Museum beginning June 27th. You can see his Limited Editions online.

World’s Largest Pop-up Bar graces the America’s Cup Pavilion

Simply named America’s Cup Sports Bar, this 12,000 sq. ft. temporary pop-up bar can house up to 500 visitors inside and outside in their patio. Run by native SF bar and restaurant celebs Eric Rubin (Hog & Rocks, Tres Agaves), Scott Beattie (Cyrus, Hi Lo), and partner Karl Hasz, the bar opened on July 4th and will continue serving until the races end in Sept. Doors are open from 11am-10pm and 11pm on the weekends in hopes that this will be “the” place to watch the races.

Nicola Benedetti & The San Francisco Symphony light up the America’s Cup Pavilion and the lives of students

Nicola Benedetti - Courtesy of SF Symphony

26 yr. old Nicola Benedetti – Courtesy of SF Symphony


Here’s the official release from the America’s Cup website about Saturday night’s concert: The San Francisco Symphony, led by conductor Teddy Abrams with violinist Nicola Benedetti, provided an evening of passion and romance with a showcase of Tchaikovsky’s most heartwarming works on Saturday at America’s Cup Pavilion.

John Kieser, General Manager of the San Francisco Symphony said: “The San Francisco Symphony has been part of this community for over 100 years so we’re extremely proud that the America’s Cup has come to San Francisco and we’re all happy to be part of the celebrations that are happening at this wonderful facility.”

“There are a lot of things in common between this orchestra and what’s happening out on the water on the AC 72s. The crew of those AC 72s and these musicians depend on split second accuracy and coordination — it’s a supreme act of teamwork. To be here and be part of that and thinking about what’s going on out on the water is a terrific thrill for all of us.”

Saturday evening’s program began with the melodic Waltz from The Sleeping Beauty, followed by the heart-wrenchingly beautiful Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture before concluding with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and 1812 Overture.

Adding to the glamour of the occasion, the America’s Cup trophy, the oldest trophy in international sport, was on display during the performance.

The America’s Cup designated the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music (AIM) as the charity beneficiary for Saturday’s concert. AIM is a comprehensive music education program designed specifically for San Francisco’s public elementary schools, in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD.) Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its partnership with the SFUSD, AIM serves every child in grades 1 through 5 in every San Francisco public elementary school, reaching nearly 24,000 children and more than 1,100 teachers annually.

Presented to schools absolutely free of charge, AIM consists of a series of in-school ensemble performances, an interdisciplinary curriculum, professional development for teachers, educational materials for each student, supplementary resources for each classroom and a hallmark concert by the San Francisco Symphony. Since its inception in 1988, over 120,000 children have gone through the AIM program.

View a complete listing of performances at America’s Cup Pavilion.

Listen to Nicola

Want to watch the America’s Cup races up close & personal? Louis Vuitton Cup Finals & America’s Cup Finals (August 17 – September 21)

  • Shoreline viewing from the Marina Green starts at $50
  • America’s Cup Village, which is the largest, most centralized land-based viewing experience, is located in the heart of Marina Green. The grandstands offer unobstructed views of the Bay and live race commentary and have access to nearby stores and exhibits. This option includes an individual seat and access to public concessions and restrooms. All seating is general admission.
  • Tickets  Note: The finish line is located at Piers 27/29 and will not be visible from the West Grandstands. However, live race footage and commentary will be available for spectators to view the final moments of racing.
  • Watch from the SS JEREMIAH O’BRIEN at Pier 45, starting at $110
  • Tickets are currently available for the Louis Vuitton and 34th America’s Cup Finals, from August 17, 2013 through September 21, 2013.
    The SS JEREMIAH O’BRIEN is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty ships of the 2,710 built and launched during WWII.
  • For a classy perch, try Pier 39’s Rooftop Lounge atop Pier 39’s garage, $300
    Available for the America’s Cup Finals: Sept. 7 – 14.
  • Complete with viewing decks and lounge seating, its elevated nature offers unparalleled views of the entire race course for the America’s Cup Finals. Live high definition race feed and commentary will be broadcast throughout the venue. 
  • Gourmet catering options, including alcohol, are included with each ticket.
  • Viewing venues