Although the focus of America’s Cup enthusiasts has now shifted to the big show next summer — the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series begins in July — its worth taking stock of the impact that the recent America’s Cup World Series has had on the Bay Area.
After decades of San Francisco city governments all but ignoring the Bay’s year-round calendar of sailing events — and their inherent connection to local maritime history — it’s refreshing to see that the current administration has it’s eyes on the water. Although it took the flamboyance of the ACWS road show to do it.
Mayor Ed Lee was on site at the Marina Green for the Super Sunday fleet races (October 7) and was impressed: “It’s fabulous for our city, and a million people came out to watch it. They wanted to be near the waterfront so they could see the blend of sky and water, fast racing boats, the Blue Angels. The America’s Cup races next year will be the only international event we have in the U.S., if not North America."
Fun facts compiled by the America’s Cup Event Authority include:
- A spectator fleet nearing 1,500 vessels was on the water for Saturday and Sunday
- 177 accredited media were on-site from 14 countries
- More than 2,600 stories were published in more than 1,000 outlets in 46 countries
- More than 300,000 unique visitors viewed more than 1 million pages on the America’s Cup website
- America’s Cup TV produced 38 videos that have been viewed more than 360,000 times
- The America’s Cup app for iPhone and iPad has been downloaded more than 14,500 times, and more than 2,700 times for Android
- The America’s Cup Event Authority distributed 2,000 gallons (7,570 liters) of water on site, which theoretically prevented the use of more than 15,000 single use (500mL) plastic bottles
- The event’s Healthy Ocean Project drew volunteers including team members and fans, who helped the Parks Conservancy at Fort Mason restore and clean up the coastline.
Cumulative totals for the 2012-2013 ACWS place the home team, Oracle Team USA (Spithill) in the lead in both fleet and match racing, with the next event scheduled for April 16-21 in Venice, Italy, followed by a showdown in Naples May 14-19 — and a possible additional contest in New York, which is still in the planning stage.