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PD Staff
04-04-2011, 12:01 PM
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© Ivor Wilkins



Fifteen set for ’Frisco
Entries for the 34th America’s Cup accelerated with a flurry of last-minute activity on deadline day last week, March 31, resulted in 15 teams from 12 nations entering the competition set for the 2011 and 2012 World Series events and the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup Finals set for San Francisco in the summer of 2013.
The 34th Cup is set to look wholly different than any before it with a completely reinvigorated format and slew of innovations.

Featuring wingsail catamarans measuring 72 feet overall, the event will be sailed in the confines of San Francisco Bay, a natural amphitheater with some 2.5 million people living along its shoreline amid Alameda, Marin and San Francisco counties.
The number of entries was beyond the expectations of many, except for perhaps Larry Ellison, the founder of ORACLE Racing. At the press conference at City Hall in early January announcing San Francisco as the venue for the 34th Cup, Ellison expressed optimism that 14 to 16 teams would sign up for the 34th America’s Cup. At the time there were only four entries, yet Ellison’s comments have proven prescient.

Watch the video: 34th America’s Cup San Francisco Press Conference, Part 2


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtrpHE6hvLg

Of the 14 challengers who've entered, 12 have been validated while the others are being checked against qualifying requirements. Some of the vetted teams have yet to publicly announce their challenges.

The latest to announce was Italy's Venezia Challenge. Other countries with teams that have announced are Sweden, New Zealand, France, China and Australia. In the spate of media stories following the close of the initial entry period, the Associated Press highlighted Korea and Canada as other possible contenders.

“It’s obviously an acceptance of the new vision of the America's Cup,” said Iain Murray, regatta director for America’s Cup Regatta Management. “People must be liking what they see, which is the World Series, the catamarans, the 45s, new rules. They can see all that stuff now. And there's more to come, with television production, and maybe just the event being in San Francisco. There's a package around the America's Cup of activity and people that’s never been there before.”
At a follow-up press conference in Plymouth, UK, America’s Cup Event Authority chairman Richard Worth compared the transformed Cup as the F1 of the water. ORACLE Racing skipper James Spithill, participating from Auckland via video conference, said the America’s Cup can finally stand up to the F1 comparison when he enthused about the switch to wingsailed catamarans.


“The America’s Cup has been compared to F1 for years,” said Spithill. “That comparison has held true in design, engineering and technology. Now the America’s Cup has the boats to live up to the comparison.”


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©Gilles Martin-Raget


Event Authority Awards Camera Contract

The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) last week awarded the contract for specialized cameras for the 34th America’s Cup to SIS LIVE, Europe’s largest outside broadcast (OB) and uplink supplier.


SIS LIVE will design, build and deliver High Definition (HD) agile cameras and digital RF microwave links for the 34th America’s Cup. The multi-million pound contract will see SIS LIVE supply the on-board camera systems over a three-year period to ACEA.

SIS LIVE will provide a fully managed integrated technical solution for HD agile cameras and RF microwave links. This includes the remote cameras on-board yachts, camera feeds and audio from yachts to shore, chase boats, umpire boats and helicopters’ camera feeds. The systems are being specially designed to be as ergonomic and lightweight as possible to minimize their impact on the racing yachts, while generating the high quality HD pictures needed for the global television and online coverage.

http://www.sislive.tv/download/press%20releases/110328_SISLIVEAmericasCup.pdf

ACEA Opens San Francisco Office, Hire HR Exec


America’s Cup officials opened their San Francisco office Friday. The 17,050 square foot office at 160 Pacific Avenue is two blocks from the waterfront and about seven blocks from Piers 27-29, which will serve as the America’s Cup Village, a congregation point for race-goers to watch the event, shop and eat.

The event authority said it plans to hire as many as 120 people in its San Francisco office over the next two years. Those new hires will be in charge of lining up sponsorships, televising the races, marketing, merchandise sales and the myriad other commercial aspects of the 34th America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup comes to San Francisco in 2013. There will also be racing events on the bay in 2012 that lead up to the America’s Cup.
In other news, America’s Cup officials have hired a human resources director in San Francisco, signalling that the racing organization is preparing to hire staff as it gets ready for the 2013 competition.

Ron Coverson was named director of HR for the America’s Cup Event Authority, the business arm of the sailing body.

Coverson had been Director of Human Resources for Stanford University’s Athletic Department for seven years.