The Maritime Report: America's Cup Update

The Maritime Report: America's Cup Update

Dave Bloch

Photo by Dave Bloch.

Another Country Heard From

The world's attention turned once again Friday from a (assumed) plush San Francisco attorney's offices to a gritty airplane hangar on Alameda Point.

Mid-afternoon, a very formal press release was issued by the America's Cup media office. All sounded very sweetness and light: "The Golden Gate Yacht Club and America’s Cup organizers are pleased that the work of the America’s Cup Review Committee has begun and that it met with the teams in San Francisco today. We appreciate the vote of confidence Mr. Bertelli, president of Luna Rossa Challenge, gave to the America's Cup continuing as planned this summer on San Francisco Bay, during his press conference this afternoon in Alameda. We are pleased that Luna Rossa has already submitted its suggestions to the Review Committee." (I've removed paragraph breaks, but no words, from that quote.)

But later came the video of the press conference held in Alameda by Patrizio Bertelli, the Prada CEO and billionaire owner of Luna Rossa Challenge. He outlined safety measures to be taken by his own team. But he also called for a reduction of the maximum winds for the races. Currently those limits are set for 25 knots for the challenging races, and 33 knots for the America's Cup itself; Luna Rossa has called for these to be reduced to 20 and 25 respectively before a race can be started, with an additional 2 knots of added winds while a race is in progress.

The full video from Luna Rossa of the press conference is available at

The weather gods, unfortunately, don't care what the America's Cup rules are; they will send us the winds they always do each summer. I'll toss out one idea of my own right here: Move the races two hours earlier in the day, when the winds are nearly always lighter.

The "quote of the day" for me comes from C.W. Nevius' article in Saturday morning's Chronicle: "This was the week that Larry Ellison lost control of the America's Cup." (The link also includes the story from KPIX-TV.)

Basically, Luna Rossa has come forth with their own proposal for rule changes, noting that the new Review Committee has only the power to make recommendations; only the teams can change the rules. I don't know for sure how much Oracle has to say in this as the America's Cup Defender, but nothing happens if there isn't another team to race against. If one team pulls out there is no need for the "Round Robin" races scheduled for all of July. If two teams leave, the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series disappears from August.

Stay tuned.


Submitted by tomcharron on Mon, May 20, 2013

SF Bay is an unforgiving place to play with floating platform-objects which have no means of depowering to meet the severe conditions developed here. Especially in the summer.. I predict disaster for this crazy "NasCar" water race for platforms which have no brakes and engines (wings) which cannot be appropriately depowered!

Give me vessels which can race on the sea, those can stand up to the severe conditions of our SF Bay!!