Skip to main content

2013 America's Cup Course

Details on the 2013 America’s Cup Finals are still elusive, but a newly released course diagram eliminates most of the guesswork. The reaching starts that trialed in AC45s in the America’s Cup World Series will be the new standard. With courses laid in San Francisco Bay close to bleachers set along the San Francisco waterfront, there will be a starting area not far from the Golden Gate Bridge. The starboard-tack reach that kicks off each race will be measured in seconds, not minutes, and will be followed by a port rounding and a turn downwind for leg two.

Beyond that, the race committee has a number of windward-leeward options, all finishing on a reaching leg at the bottom of the course. The finish line will be established close to the America’s Cup Village in the shadow of Telegraph Hill. 

John Craig, principal race officer for America’s Cup Race Management, can plan with confidence, because San Francisco Bay has a westerly sea breeze that blows almost every day in the summertime. Even when a high takes over and spins out a heated easterly from the land, the large and effective Venturi tube that is the Golden Gate will almost always generate a local sea breeze, blowing the other direction, before the afternoon is out. 

Course marks won’t be inflatable buoys, but camera-carrying boats built and equipped to hold a GPS-defined position. They can also be quickly repositioned if it’s necessary to shorten or lengthen the course to meet a television broadcast schedule. The racing is very much made-for-TV. But if it works, and we can go a generation or more without seeing Cup competition again dragged into court, then AC 2013 will be remembered as a game changer, and Oracle Racing owner Larry Ellison will have his legacy.

Courses for the 2012 World Series racing in August will be similar but more compact and will finish closer to their starting point. Although it is not part of the published agenda, SAIL has reason to believe a weather mark set beyond the Golden Gate Bridge is still in the cards for 2012 and 2013, subject to sea state.

Finally, while Cup insiders have long known that NBC was the Cup’s likely—and critical—media partner, it is now official. According to the deal, NBC will air segments of AC45 racing in 2012, followed by the first two days of the finals regatta, which will be broadcast nationally September 7-8, 2013. The remaining races will then air on NBC Sports Network.

How far is the Defender willing to go to bring the America’s Cup to America? NBC not only got the rights for free, but the America’s Cup Event Authority is paying for the airtime. 

Related

DUFOUR_470.JM-LIOT-15

Boat Review: Dufour 470

Annapolis may be the sailing capital of America, but if you looked around the United States Sailboat Show last fall, you would have no choice but to conclude most sailboats are now built in Europe. The Dufour 470 is a good example of a modern French performance cruiser. DESIGN & ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_6563

Close Encounters: Captain Sarah Schelbert

I met Captain Sarah Schelbert back in 2019 while on the boat trip from hell aboard a seaworthy but poorly run Triton 28 in the western Caribbean. I was trying to help the owner sail his boat back to Florida from the Rio Dulce, in Guatemala. Outbound from the river basin, we had ...read more

02-Voice-of-the-Oceans---sailboat-Kat-11

Raising Their Voices

Many of us who are cruising sailors have been sailing mid-ocean or walking along a perfect beach in the middle of seemingly nowhere, only to be appalled at the amount of plastic trash we find. Few of us, however, have taken that disheartening reality and turned it into a ...read more

IC37racingonSunday-Photo-by-Paul-Todd

IC37 North American Championship

This past weekend saw 20 IC37s off Newport, Rhode Island engage in fast and furious one-design racing with the win going to Peter McClennen’s Gamecock. “It’s huge,” said McClennen of the win. “I think of the one-designs of this club going back to the New York 30 [built in ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_2056

South Pacific Storm Prep

Having set ourselves the task of transforming our recently purchased Open 66 ex-Vendée Globe racer, NV, into a performance family cruiser, my partner, Timo, and I found ourselves (extremely) high and dry as cyclone season approached. The favorite cyclone strategy in Fiji is to ...read more

00-Alexe-1---GUaGKDY4-single-boat-sailing-away-from-skyline,-Hill-Holiday

Cruising: Find Your Own Adventure

Whether they’re at the end of their collegiate career or after aging out of a summer sailing program, a lot of young sailors have a hard time finding a way to continue sailing as adults. Some of the barriers to sailing, including location, finances and time, can be hard to ...read more

00LEAD-IMG_2183

Heavy Hitters on Heavy Weather

“What’s the joke about heavy weather? You know it when you see it.” Figure 8 singlehander Randall Reeves drew laughs from the Cruising Club of America (CCA) sailors attending the forum “Heavy Weather Sailing: Bluewater Perspectives” as part of the CCA’s centennial celebration in ...read more

Nominne-Promo-2048x1149

Best Boat Nominees 2023

The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Some of it is timing. Some of it is just the way of the world. Either way, it can be fascinating to see the evolution of the boatbuilding industry over the years, as has been evident in SAIL magazine’s annual Best Boats ...read more