Organizers of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco Wednesday unveiled the field of teams who will compete in the sailing race in 2013.
Representatives of teams from China, Italy, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden and France, which has two teams, joined the U.S. team, Oracle Racing, at a news conference at the Ferry Building this morning. A ninth team that will contend will be announced next week in Europe.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined race officials to welcome the teams to the event and said he is looking forward to “how exciting this race is going to be.”
The AC45 catamarans being used in upcoming America’s Cup World Series races were taken out on the Bay on Monday and made headlines when one of Oracle Racing’s vessels capsized.
Helmsman Russell Coutts, one of the crewmembers who fell from the boat when it capsized, said the windy conditions in the Bay make it hard to separate being on the edge from going over it.
“One of the challenges … is recognizing where that point is,” Coutts said. “We’re starting to recognize when that limit is reached.”
Richard Worth, chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority, said the incident was an example of the “fast and dangerous new boats” being used in the upcoming races.
A larger and even faster boat, the AC72 catamaran, will be used in the America’s Cup regatta held in 2013.
Of the teams taking part in the America’s Cup race, the Korean team is new to the event, while China is entering for just the second time.
The America’s Cup World Series races start in August in Portugal. Other events are planned in the United Kingdom in September and San Diego in November before two World Series events and the Louis Vuitton Cup will be held in San Francisco in 2012.
The America’s Cup Challenger Series will be held from July 13 to Sept. 1, 2013, and the America’s Cup Finals will take place from Sept. 7 to Sept. 22, 2013.
BMW Oracle Racing, also owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, won the previous America’s Cup in 2010 on behalf of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club and got to choose the host city for the next race.
The team announced in December that it had selected San Francisco to host the event.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News