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Central Bay that would change location depending on the wind strength. Although AC Regatta Management has not made any formal declarations, they've been experimenting with reaching starts during the first two America's Cup World series events. Depending on the sea state, the race committee also has a provision for extending the weather leg out to Pt. Bonita. The marks will be dynamically-positioned boats instead of anchored inflatables and will be adjusted to make the races last as close to 45 minutes as possible (to facilitate TV coverage). What if I want to watch it on TV? Hopefully that will happen, although to date, only TV New Zealand has been announced as having signed up for the full broadcast rights. Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and über-brainiac navigator Stan Honey — he developed the first-down line for TV football coverage — has been retained by the America's Cup Event Authority to improve the television coverage, and the results from the streaming feed from Plymouth have been very encourag-

ing, with split-screen and overlay views. There will also be microphones on each crewmember, plus strategically located mics on the boat. There will be one onboard camera operator in addition to remote-controlled onboard cameras, plus what we assume will be aerial — helicopters have been employed in the ACWS so far, although concerns about noise and pollution have led to investigation of other options — and waterplane cameras. When will we see boats on the Bay? Although the event schedule for the America's Cup World Series is not yet completely fleshed out, the schedule for the two World Series events on the Bay is pretty well nailed down for August of next year. In the meantime, the roadshow will visit San Diego next month from November 12-20 before heading to Venice, Italy, May 12-20, 2012 and Newport, Rhode Island June 23-July 1. How many teams can we expect? One of the biggest changes since the first iteration of these FAQs is in the lineup of teams. When we last checked in, there were four confirmed and announced entries in addition to Oracle Racing: Team Artemis, Emirates Team New Zealand, Aleph-Equipe de France and Challenger of Record Mascalzone Latino. Of course, since then, there have been some major changes. First, Mascalzone Latino is kaput, and Artemis Racing has taken over as Challenger of Record. The others are still in the ballgame, and have been joined by some promising challengers, including Team Korea, China Team, France's Energy Team, and Spain's GreenComm Racing. That brings the total to seven teams, in addition to Oracle Racing, that have already participated in the first two ACWS events. To be clear, there is no guarantee that some of the newer teams will make it to the AC 72 stage of the game, but all have posted encouraging results so far, which should bode well for their continued existence. As of this moment, the only sure bets are Oracle Racing, Artemis Racing, and Emirates Team New Zealand, all of which are funded. Artemis,

although very strong looking, is backed by Swedish billionaire Torbjorn Tornqvist, who is rumored to not be excited about footing the bill entirely by himself, and the team's hunt for sponsorship is active. Changes to the protocol have left open the possibility for a later challenger to jump into the game, but the reality is that anyone doing so would be so far behind the curve that they would have little chance of contending. When will work begin on the piers? This is still the $50 million question. The project has already undergone an amazingly fast environmental review required under the California Environmental Quality Act, more commonly known as CEQA. The CEQA process, although budgeted to take one year, was completed in just about 8 months. But questions, and opposition to the plans, still remain. Will they charge for viewing spots? It's possible that there will be designated seating in certain places, but the fact that so much public land has prime views of the Bay means that there will be an abundance of good places from which to watch the races for free. What is the AC World Series? The America's Cup World Series is the series of regattas that leads up to the main event in August 2013. Five events — down two from the original projections — are either done and dusted or scheduled between now and August 2012. Since the events are sailed in the one design AC 45s, Oracle Racing is participating. The results will have no impact on the completely separate Louis Vuitton Cup (Oracle Racing will not be sailing in it), nor the America's Cup itself. The America's 'Almost got it' . . . — a precarious position for a bow guy if the skipper can't keep the hull flying.

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GILLES MARTIN-RAGET

GILLES MARTIN-RAGET

— SAN FRANCISCO BAY

Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 Oct. 2011  

The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 Oct. 2011  

The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.