It will be interesting to see if this idea gains traction.
Bold plan to return America’s Cup style racing to San Francisco
by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL May 7, 2015, 19:28:00 (EDT)

12 metres racing in the 1983 America’s Cup. Australia II is covered by Liberty in Race 1 of the 1983 America’s Cup

There will be smiles around San Francisco Bay with the announcement that America’s Cup style racing is set to return to the venue of the 34th America’s Cup.

A bold plan by Tom Ehman, whose experience with the Cup dates back to 1977, will see racing resume on an annual basis in updated 12 Metre yachts – which were the preferred Cup class from 1956 to 1987.

The new event will reflect the true spirity of the America’s Cup Deed of Gift, with competition being between yacht club teams comprised only of nationals from that club’s country.

The new event is being masterminded by Tom Ehman who is currently the Vice Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the body charged under the 19th century Deed of Gift, which governs the conduct of the America’s Cup, with the organisation of the 35th America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup Events Authority is the body responsible under the Protocol for the organisation of the next Match, but it created a great deal of angst amongst the San Francisco sailing fraternity when it decided not to Defend in its home waters, and took the Cup Defence to Bermuda.

That frustration has spawned the new event, coupled with the desire of San Francisco sailors to maintain their place on the international sailing vista.

Unlike the America’s Cup the new San Francisco event will carry half a million dollars in prizemoney, and will be a lot lower costs of entry, with a figure of $1million being touted as the annual cost to run a team.

The benefit for sponsors is that they will get annual exposure for their outlay, as opposed to the once every three/four years with the current Cup plus what can be obtained from the America’s Cup World Series – a three day event which will be sailed three times this year, and with only three venues announced for 2016

Speaking with Associated Press, Ehman said he envisions the Golden Gate Challenge as the Wimbledon of yacht racing in that it will be held every year at the same venue. Unlike the America’s Cup, all teams will be challengers, meaning they’ll start on equal footing each year.

To be named the Golden Gate Yacht Racing Challenge, the new event is being launched at a time when many in the sailing world have questioned the vision for the 35th America’s Cup of Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, which has so far lost two of its Challengers of Record in the first 18 months of the 35th America’s Cup cycle.

Ehman said he hopes to attract team owners who have been priced out of the America’s Cup or turned off by recent turmoil.

‘This is an opportunity to do something for the sport and the former cup community,’ Ehman said from San Francisco.

Ehman told Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press that he’s working to secure event sponsors and teams.

‘I think this is the best venue in the world for showcasing yacht racing and that was shown in the last cup,’ he said. ‘There’s a crying need in the world of yacht racing for such an event, especially in monohulls and especially in a lot of breeze. We’re seeing that because of what’s happening or not happening in other parts of the sport and in other parts of the world.’

The move is sure to raise the hackles of the America’s Cup Events Authority, a privately owned company charged by the Golden Gate Yacht Club with the commercial and event management activities surrounding the 35th America’s Cup, now removed to Bermuda.

Technically Ehman is part of a management structure to which ACEA reports, however his position is also understood to be voluntary, and ACEA would have few options open to shut down this new initiative or Ehman’s involvement in promoting a new sailing event in a venue deserted by ACEA.

Ehman remains vice commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which is the America’s Cup trustee. He said his regatta is not affiliated with the GGYC and won’t compete with the America’s Cup. It is believed the new event will be hosted by all Bay area yacht clubs, and existing facilities will be used for team bases

‘I think the America’s Cup is off on its own and always has been,’ Ehman said. ‘The America’s Cup will survive the current situation. There is obviously strong interest in monohull racing with strong teams, in boats everyone has heard of and loves. There is a nostalgia and romance with the 12-meters, and to have those boats racing in a lot of breeze on San Francisco Bay where people can watch it, it will remind people of how great the America’s Cup was in Fremantle in 1987 in windy conditions in 12s.’

Ehman told AP that he’s having designers look at modernizing the 12s and hopes to keep the cost below $3 million per boat. All boats would have the same hull shape, which would make the regatta a test of sailing skill rather than a design competition, helping to hold down costs.


For $999, you can watch sailing, on public land

02.11.13 – 3:12 pm | Tim Redmond |


Did SF get kicked in the balls, or what?


Here’s the deal of a lifetime: For $999, you can get a ticket to watch the America’s Cup races. From beachers built on public land. Where the non-wealthy public won’t be allowed.

The America’s Cup Event Authority, run by Larry Ellison, who is the third-richest person in the world, has sent out an email soliciting buyers for this special early deal: Buy now, and you will be guaranteed a “reserved section in a preferred area of the bleachers,” as well as exclusive access to parties and events, and a chance to get your picture taken with the Cup.

Which, by the way, is having trouble raising money — and could leave the city on the hook for as much as $20 million. Which loudmouth critics like Aaron Peskin and Chris Daly warned about from the start. So we’ve gone from the races being a huge economic boon, worth billions to the city, to poor Mark Buell, who has to ask people to give money to underwrite Larry Ellison’s yacht party, saying that even if the city loses money, it will still all be worth it.

Those poor San Francisco plebians who don’t have $1,000 will be able to see the races, but Ellison’s team recommends spending the cash, now: “There will be a section of free-view bleachers,” the Event Authority’s Ryan Carroll told me. “But those seats will be limited, and we expect them to fill up quickly.”

And there may still be some cheaper seats coming; tickets for individual races will go on sale later, and seats at the prelims in June might not cost as much, Carroll said.

Other areas for public waterfront viewing “will be congested,” he said.

Jane Sullivan, marketing director for the America’s Cup Organizing Committee (which is the city’s operation, separate and distinct from Ellison’s), said it’s not neccessary to give Ellison a thousand bucks to see the sailboats whip by at 50 miles an hour: “The entire waterfront will not be filled up and congested,” she said. “There will be ample and lovely free viewing of all the races.”

So let me sum this up: The taxpayers spend $20 million underwriting Ellison’s race. Then Ellison’s team wants us to pay him $999 for the right to sit on a bench on public land and watch. Who does this gentleman think he is? (Oh right: He’s Larry Fucking Ellison.)


Ok, are these the images we are all waiting for? NASCAR sailing? Can we only now be satisfied by capsizes and near misses? Have we come to terms with the idea that the America’s Cop will never again resemble sailing as we knew it? Will this new format sustain the event?
I am not in San Francisco so none of the images are mine.


Got plans for Columbus Day weekend? The annual anniversary of Christopher
Columbus’s arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, is
always the second Monday in October. As it’s also a federal holiday in the
U.S., you may be looking at options for a three day vacation. If you are
thinking of San Francisco, rest assured, you are not alone:

October 4-8: A tradition since 1981, Fleet Week is the most anticipated
Fall event in San Francisco. With an estimated audience of 1 million,
spectators are drawn every year to the city’s northern waterfront to be
awed by a parade of Navy ships, along with a spectacular aerial show that
includes the Navy Blue Angels. Also on hand are a variety of other
nighttime entertainment venues that kick off just as the sun sets over San
Francisco Bay.

October 5-7: The 12th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is one of the
largest (and free-est) music festivals in the U.S. Held in Golden Gate
Park, three quarters of a million people are expected for the likes of
Patty Griffin, Les Claypool, Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou Harris, Chuck Prophet,
Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Elvis Costello, Dwight Yoakam, Lloyd Cole,
Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Nick Lowe and more.

October 2-7: The second event of the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series
will be sharing the City with the iconic events above. The first America’s
Cup event in San Francisco in August attracted over 150,000 fans to the
Marina Green and nearly 500 spectator boats to witness 11 of the best
sailing crews in the world battle just yards from the shoreline. In
October, the 11 AC45 will return to the Bay in hopes of attracting the
attention of the holiday crowds. Full details:
(September 20, 2012) – The revolving door marked skipper at America’s Cup
challenger Team Korea is spinning again as Australian Olympic gold medalist
Nathan Outteridge departs after just seven months, about the same tenure as
his predecessor Chris Draper, an Olympic bronze medalist.

Outteridge, who, with crew Iain Jensen, blitzed the 49er fleet in the London
2012 regatta last month, is expected to join one of the three confirmed
challengers for next year’s 34 America’s Cup with the Swedish-based Artemis
as the front runner. Draper is with Italy’s Prada-backed Luna Rosa
challenge. The third is Emirates Team New Zealand.

The imminent official announcement by Korea team boss Dong-Young Kim, which
will name Outteridge’s successor, may also be coupled with final
confirmation that Team Korea is putting its current Cup challenge on hold,
though it has paid the $200,000 entry fee, and aiming at AC35.

But the cost of mounting a viable challenge in the new class of 72-foot
wing-powered catamarans is upwards of $100m. So far Team Korea, which also
has links with English premier league soccer club Sunderland, has failed to
announce that it has raised any significant budget. Among the Team Korea
crew in Naples, Venice, Newport, Rhode Island, and San Francisco this year
have been three top British talents, Giles Scott, Mark Bulkily, and Matt

Announcing a new skipper implies that Team Korea will race at the America’s
Cup World Series regatta in San Francisco early next month. If so, the crew
will then need to be confirmed. — Full story at: http://tinyurl.com/d92zz36

The ACWS race schedule has had to work around the Fleet Week activities.
The Cup Experience website provides some clarity on how the events will
merge: http://tinyurl.com/CE-091912



I am starting to be confused and amused. At any given moment, particularly in a big city, there are so many random events taking place simultaneously. More than anyone can grasp. San Francisco is no different. The scheduled trolley that kept moving past the stop, the conductor waving and smiling as it sped by.

The America’s Cup event would not deter the future bride. The low flying helicopter ignoring everything.


The forecast for today is for more wind. It could be exciting. As you might see there is a camera arms race on. This is BIG glass as they say. Canon is making their presence known. You can borrow this equipment for the week. I happen to shoot Nikon.Where are they?  Next to this equipment is it easy to feel inadequate. It is a good thing I am comfortable in my own skin.


The Golden Gate Bridge never fully appeared, but the show went on anyway. Lots of boats and lots of capsizes. The breeze out of the West at about 15 knots. The wind and tide were flowing in the same direction during racing , so the water was flat. The racing was close to the Green. I think, having seen the racing, here and in Newport, that in fact, the viewing was better in Newport.