A former America’s Cup executive is launching a new international regatta, the Golden Gate Yacht Racing Challenge, which will be sailed annually on San Francisco Bay beginning in July 2017 in an updated version of the venerable 12-meter class.
Tom Ehman, who most recently had been with the America’s Cup Event Authority, said he wants to restore stability and style to yacht racing. The regatta will offer yacht racing’s largest purse, $500,000; have a strict nationality rule; and be contested in the strong, steady breeze that blows in through the Golden Gate Bridge.
Ehman said he envisions the Golden Gate Challenge as the Wimbledon of yacht racing in that it will be held every year at the same venue. Unlike the America’s Cup, all teams will be challengers, meaning they’ll start on equal footing each year.
The Golden Gate Yacht Racing Challenge is being planned at a time when the America’s Cup has lost some of its luster and is being criticized by many in sailing for abandoning its traditions. Jump in the thread for more.