Being a convert from the Can’t-Happen-Here-Party, I have the convert’s zealotry for seeing America’s Cup 34 sailed on San Francisco Bay. Now we’ve inched a step closer with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopting a resolution put forward by Ross Mirkarimi, commending the BMW Oracle Racing team for the win and stating that, “the Board of Supervisors urges the City and Country of San Francisco to work diligently, and with enthusiasm, to develop a worthy plan for a San Francisco waterfront venue to host the 34th America’s Cup.”
The good word was touted by a spokesperson from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the group working directly with Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW Oracle to identify a workable site. And yes, it’s a Supervisors’ resolution with no teeth. But we started this with most people believing the city would collectively yawn and scratch never get behind an America’s Cup match. Something’s happening here.
(And isn’t it interesting that someone at the top is doing so well at limiting top-down chatter about the choice of platform? I mean, boat.)
And isn’t it also interesting that the Thursday afternoon appearance of the America’s Cup at Strictly Sail Pacific provides a handy opportunity for an announcement, at just about the time that something about the selection process perhaps needs to be announced?
Just across the Oakland Shipping Channel, the city of Alameda, which has scads of elbow room in a former Naval base, would go for a Cup deal in a minute. But team owner Larry Ellison has made it clear that San Francisco is his first choice.
Down in San Diego, meanwhile, where San Diego Yacht Club held the Cup from 1987 to 1995, there’s a committee of power players—names you know—with their own vision. As described by Troy Sears, aka my RIB driver at AC 33, “We support San Francisco. We don’t want to be seen as competitive, like Rhode Island, which wants to put in a bid concurrent with San Francisco’s bid. This way we send a clear message to the Governor’s office, and we have Governor’s staff on our committee, that we are all working together inside the state of California.
“If the Cup doesn’t happen in San Francisco, that’s different,” Sears said, “but in the meantime we foresee courting teams to train in San Diego. It’s a great place to be in the winter. And the Port Commission a week ago voted to formally write to the World Sailing Team Association to propose a Louis Vuitton event. They’ve said they want to race in San Diego, and we want them here.”