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Kiwis Launch First AC72

Now just a year away, ‘the big show’ — America’s Cup 34 — will be raced in San Francisco Bay on the most radical boats ever used in Cup combat. And the first one of them has just come out of the box: Emirates Team New Zealand launched their first AC72 wingsail catamaran in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour on Saturday with a crowd estimated at 6,000 on hand to share in the celebration.

With the launch of Emirates Team New Zealand’s 72-footer the excitement is building in Kiwiland – and it will continue to do so until this time next year.

© 2012 Richard Gladwell

While New Zealand has stolen the spotlight temporarily, we can almost feel the excitement building here in the Bay, as the word on the docks is that Oracle Team USA will launch their first 72-footer here as early as next month. We can hardly wait!

In other AC 34 news, we’ll remind you that longtime A-Cup insider Tom Ehman, currently Vice Commodore of the Golden Gate YC, will give a talk Wednesday at the Corinthian YC titled: "AC34 Cupdate: The World Sets Sail for San Francisco." If you’re an A-Cup aficionado you won’t want to miss it:

Again, it’s this Wednesday, July 25th. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the no-host bar, with the presentation at 7 p.m. And it’s free! Online RSVP requested or call 415-435-4771.

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Late last week, the Sacramento Bee broke the news that the Department of Parks and Recreation — the same department that state legislators want to absorb the highly efficient and boater-funded Department of Boating and Waterways — has been sitting on a $54 million surplus that dates back as far as 12 years.