America’s Cup gets underway in SF

In May we wrote here about the amazing America's Cup….you can read that again, click here.     “Back on the Block” led with the story – about the 2103 America’s Cup competition being held this year in San Francisco.

The lead-in challenger competition, the Louis Vuitton Cup between the contenders other than the Cup holder, Oracle of the US and backed by Larry Ellison, has started and runs to 30 August – already amid controversy over the hi-tech elevator rudders fitted to the Italian Luna Rossa vessel.  As so many times before, it comes down to definitional issues.

The America’s Cup Review Committee, a panel examining the Artemis accident, in which a sailor died, issued a set of safety recommendations which included more body armour for sailors (crash helmets were already in use), hands-free oxygen devices and ending a race in the finals when wind speeds reach 26 mph, down from the previous rule of 38 mph. The US Coast Guard issued a permit for the regatta on 28 June, requiring the recommendations be adopted as rules.

The Louis Vuitton Cup will be contested by the Swedish Artemis Racing’s new boat backed by oil billionaire Torben Tornquist, Italy’s Luna Rossa, funded by billionaire Patrizio Bertelli and Prada, and Emirates Team New Zealand, the only entry not billionaire-supported, whose sponsors include Emirates airline. Team New Zealand is looking good.

The America’s Cup contest itself starts on 1 September.

This is the 30th year in which Louis Vuitton has sponsored the regatta.

Levy Restaurants has been selected as Official Restaurant Partner for the 2013 America’s Cup. The company will supply across a wide range of entertainment, dining and shopping options in the Bay area…. “truly authentic local flavours”.  Levy Restaurants is part of the Compass Group and is based in Chicago, providing premium-quality vending and food services to major entertainment and sports venues such as Oracle Arena, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, American Airlines Arena in Miami, and in the UK the O2 and Wembley Arena.

Italy’s No. 1 premium beer Peroni Nastro Azzurro will be the Official Beer of the sailing competition.

In August, NBC will broadcast races of the Louis Vuitton Cup.The broadcasts will be on NBC’s all-sports cable channel NBC Sports Network. The first two days of the America’s Cup Final, on 7-8 September , will air live nationally followed by the rest of the best-of-nine series on cable via NBC Sports Network.

Popular Mechanics magazine writes,  “Led by Stan Honey, creator of Sportvision's 1st & Ten yellow football line, K-Zone for MLB, and Nascar's graphical overlays, America's Cup will bring sailing into the modern era of television viewing.
New graphics developed specifically for America's Cup television broadcasts—and using Department of Defense GPS technology offering accuracy to within 2 centimeters—can give the exact speeds, predict within seconds the exact time of the race, distance, course boundaries and up-to-the-second race leader information in real time. Add in seven high-definition remotely controlled cameras on each boat, sailors wired for sound, and microphones to pick up the hiss of the water, and sailing suddenly becomes a much more exciting TV event.”

The earlier expectations of the Cup bringing about $1.5 billion in extra spending to San Francisco have been revised to a pinch under $1 billion.

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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