down but not out

Our old pal, SF multihull enthusiast Peter Stoneberg ain’t happy with Bernie Wilson’s recent piece knocking San Fran out of the Cup venue running.  Peter’s a pretty plugged in dude, so if he says it ain’t over, we believe him.  Is Wilson and the AP being used as a negotiating tool by the AC press machine, or is Stoneberg doing some wishful thinking?  Read on to decide for yourself, and then post here.

Recent press reports have said that San Francisco may be out of the running to host the 35th America’s Cup. If true, after such a great event last summer, the loss would be profound for San Francisco, for sailing and particularly for the America’s Cup.  San Francisco and the Bay present the finest venue in the world for the America’s Cup.

As a sailor, I feel that SF is the best a venue can offer: consistent strong winds, flat water needed for foiling cats, breath-taking scenery for TV backdrops, a world-class metropolitan area, plentiful free public access to watch the regattas, and a City that got behind the racing and wants the America’s Cup back.

As a businessman, I saw the 34th America’s Cup generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity for San Francisco, create thousands of jobs for the region and showcase our spectacular waterfront to visitors from around the globe.  As a Californian, I saw our state demonstrate how the oldest trophy in international sport could be open to all citizens to view for free, to promote an environmentally connected sport, to use engineering and information technologies to do things that were thought impossible even just two years ago.

Thanks to Larry Ellison’s and Russell Coutts’ vision and resources in conjunction with the ACEA and in cooperation with the City, the Cup was revolutionized last summer and brought the sport of sailing to millions of spectators in person, on TV and over the web. Thanks to Jimmy Spithill’s leadership on the water, the OTUSA victory has been widely characterized as the greatest, most thrilling comeback in the history of sport.

As Former Secretary George Schultz recently said “God created San Francisco Bay for the America’s Cup”. I am only one of many that agree.

As a sailor, citizen and America’s Cup fan, I hope that ACEA and GGYC continue the great momentum created last summer and the Cup can return to the Defender’s home waters.

If you enjoyed watching the Cup, got a job because of the Cup, enjoyed the economic benefit from the Cup and/or would just like to see the Cup come back to San Francisco, please take a moment to make some social noise, or just write a letter or e-mail to the City or ACEA and let your voice be heard. Let’s not let the vocal minority take our Cup away.

-Peter Stoneberg