Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sailing Report

News from the world of sailing, including America’s Cup and Velux 5 Oceans updates

Photo by Velux 5 Competitor Derek Hatfield / w-w-i.com
By Sean McQuilken
Special to the Daily Boater

The city of San Francisco has won the first race of the America's Cup, the race to host it.

San Francisco has been the front runner but came close to losing it when negotiations between Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club (the defender who is responsible for organizing the event) became difficult; fortunately for the city they worked out their differences with the team.
The America's Cup is the world's third largest sporting event in terms of economic impact to the host city, behind only the summer Olympics (various sports) and The World Cup (soccer). The city estimates a direct economic benefit of $1.1 billion and creation of over 7000 jobs; total direct and indirect benefits are projected to be much higher than this. The city of San Francisco, in combination with the organizing authority and their respective sponsors, will refit piers 19, 23, 27, 29, 30 and 32.

An exact schedule hasn't been determined yet but it will most likely be for an 8 week plus period sometime in the second and third quarters of 2013. The racing will take place in the notoriously windy San Francisco bay in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, which will make for exciting racing that is possible to watch from shore and very easy to broadcast.

Newport, RI was the other venue considered for the event. Newport didn't totally lose out as they will probably be getting an America's Cup World Series event this September which will be sailed in 45 foot wing sailed catamarans. Newport will also serve as the backup venue for the main event in case San Francisco has something come up that would prohibit them from hosting the main event.

In the Velux 5 Oceans American Brad Van Liew has now taken a 251 mile lead (about 24 hours) on the second place boat with 1200 miles left to sail on a very atypical Southern Ocean leg that saw the retirement of Christophe Bullens and his yacht Five Oceans of Smiles Too. Brad has approximately 4 days left to sail before arriving in Wellington, NZ. The real battle is for second with Zbigniew Gutkowski and Derek Hatfield fighting it out, as they currently have only about 50 miles separating them. The two have been fighting it out the entire leg and this battle is expected to come down to the final miles.

Stay tuned to the Daily Boater for more news on the America's Cup and Velux 5 Oceans as it is announced.

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