Olympic medalist Jonny Moseley MC’d the day’s events, leading off with out going mayor Gavin Newsom who thanked his team, with Kyri McClellen who he said he’s sure is "soon to be on the front page of "Sailing Illustrated,’" getting the most applause. And she deserves it. As many of us who have closely followed the ins and outs with the city, we know Kyri has been with this from the get go – from the day BMW Oracle brought the cup back to SF.
The back and forth in the the last minute negotiations, Gavin said in the press room, was expected and he was "quite pleased with the process and the outcome." Ellison took several questions from local reporters about his plans for the piers after the AC leaves SF and he said while they are focused at the moment on the AC Village, they expect the piers to be developed into places that are socially, economically and culturally interesting, where you could have lunch or hop on a boat to go sailing.
Going back to the presentation, Gavin Newsom handed off the microphone again to Jonny who introduced Craig Thompson and Richard Worth. They discussed the beauty of the venue, the amphitheater it provides and ran down the dates and general locations for the upcoming world series. They said they expect it may kick off in Italy, then a winter venue ‘somewhere in the middle east’ and potentially venues in Australia, possibly New Zealand, other parts of the US and finally in SF in August of 2012. In addition the first racing of the AC72s will be in San Francisco.
They underlined the vision of the AC34 – watching racing from the inside out (from within the boats), with marks that will highlight the beauty of San Francisco. The marks, incidentally, will be GPS positioned boats with cameras on them. There seems to be some consideration, according to Iain Murray in the press conference, of putting a mark 1nm outside the gate.
The first AC45 they expect to launch by January 17th and the Oracle team will sail it till nearly the end of the month. After that the other teams will have a week a piece to practice on it, beginning with Artemis, Murray said.
The new mantra, repeated often is "The best sailors in the world, sailing the fastest boats in the world in one of the most extraordinary places in the world to sail." Here’s hoping we see all of that. –