The race course area for the 34th Americas Cup in San Francisco was revealed on Feb. 21. Stretching across the city shoreline from Piers 27–29 out to near the Golden Gate Bridge, the course will bring the action closer to shore than ever before in the 160-year history of the Cup.
“The input and cooperation we’ve received from Bay stakeholders and users have been invaluable in allowing us to reach this point,” said John Craig, the principal race officer for the America’s Cup. “Now we can focus on setting up a race course that will allow the teams to compete and perform in a way that I think will really energize and excite this city.”
Tucked between Alcatraz and the City shoreline, the course offers up-close viewing from any number of locations along the city front, with the Marina Green and Crissy Field among the prime locations. The exact location of the race area will change slightly on any given day depending on weather conditions.
Environmental buffers and small boat access areas were prime considerations in setting up the racing box. A transit channel has been set up along the shore to allow ferry traffic, boats needing to transit in and out of the marinas, as well as commercial fishing boats and other craft, to operate safely during racing. The restricted area box is expected to be in place for only three to four hours on scheduled race days.
“Following consultation with numerous Bay users, the Coast Guard has issued a draft Special Local Regulation [now in the 90-day public comment phase] that defines a restricted area where we can safely set up our race course area,” Craig says.
The 2013 racing season starts on July 4, with the Louis Vuitton Cup – the Amer-ica’s Cup Challenger Series – leading up
to the America’s Cup Finals from Sept. 7–22, 2013.