America’s Cup World Series Starts Today in San Francisco Bay

AC World Series on SF Bay

If you are in the Bay Area this week you might want to head over to the Marina district in San Francisco to catch some of the America’s Cup World Series events that start today on San Francisco Bay.

This is not the actual America’s Cup race, those are slated to begin next year, nor is it a set of races that will enable the winner to advance to next year’s race but rather a set of competitions between smaller boats.

The World Series races use 45 foot boats, called AC45s, rather than the 72 foot AC72 models that will race next year for the trophy. There will be 11 teams on the water and the format will be very different as well.

This is head to head sailing with a multitude to teams participating. The teams are seeded and the racing qualifiers start today, followed by quarterfinal races on both Thursday and Friday. The semifinals will be Saturday and the finals on Sunday.

This is a new format, from the previous (and first) sailing of the America’s Cup World Series that will have six teams competing today in the qualifiers. The other five are the top ranked boats from the standings of the 2011-12 ACWS Match Racing Championship. The top three from today advance to the semi’s tomorrow.

It is interesting to note that there are several possible race course configurations, depending on how the wind is, or is not, blowing on any given day. As anybody who has spent any time on the Bay knows it has a strong current, an almost constant chop and usually strong winds that shift directions as the day goes by.

It is interesting to note that while the teams spend millions on their boats, there is no purse in the America’s Cup, they do it for bragging rights and the ability to be the home team and select the race site for the next cup defense. It would be nice to have that much money to throw around.



  1. Today’s SF Chronicle quotes various skippers predicting “carnage.” Also pix of a couple boats that tipped over. Low-speed NASCAR on the waves? Let’s trade some billionaire paint!

  2. Certainly these are races by professionals and backed by billionaires and or countries…but what is different between this and professional baseball or football or the Olympics? So the “nice to have that much money to throw around” comment is inappropriate.

  3. Professional athletes are reimbursed for their actions, as are the teams that employ them via ticket sales etc… The people that participate in the America’s Cup are not, I see that as a huge difference.

  4. Pretty interesting to see that when the billionaires didn’t get the sweetheart tax/development deal they wanted on the SF shoreline, all of a sudden the thing went from 20 teams to 5 teams. This was and is just a business/glory days thing for the uber-rich. Baseball and the Olympics have history… longevity… games you can actually watch… for these races the good citizens of San Francisco get to watch from the shore… bully

    And — how is it inappropriate to say it’d be nice to have that much money to throw around? Who wouldn’t want that? I for one would love to see Greg have gazillions and watch the boat race he would put on… or perhaps medieval games, with jousting. Now THAT’s entertainment.


  1. […] hope that you caught the last World Series on San Francisco Bay a few months ago- blustery conditions made for some exciting sailing. Well […]