Newsom, City Dive Into Sailing Competition

San Francisco will compete with Italy and Spain to host America's Cup

By Matt Baume
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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Tall Ships Sail into Bay

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SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 01: The Carnival Splendor cruise ship arrives in the San Francisco Bay May 1, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Several cruise ships are diverting to the Port of San Francisco instead of heading to destinations in Mexico as health authorities warn against unnecessary travel to Mexico due to the Swine Flu outbreak. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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San Francisco is diving headfirst into an international sailing competition. But before the race even starts, the City will have to prove its worth.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, along with several city supervisors, have taken steps to woo the 34th America's Cup to San Francisco. The city is currently drafting guidelines for hosting the contest, in the hopes that they can come up with terms that look attractive enough to be selected as  the host city.

The decision is in the hands of Bay Area billionaire Larry Ellison who lives just down the road.  Ellision won the last America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain last February and that means he gets to select where the next race will take place.

Newsom is confident about the bid. "We believe there’s no better place on earth than San Francisco Bay to defend the America’s Cup and bring millions of new fans from around the world to the oldest international sailing competition," he said.

To be sure, San Francisco offers plenty: a pretty setting, predictable winds, excellent vantage points, and amenities for tourists (as they don't expect Muni to get them around town).

The contest would also provide an opportunity to fix up the crumbling piers, and could create thousands of jobs.

The city's on a tight schedule to formulate its plan. Studies will be conducted over the next year, with a lease drawn up by November of 2011. Infrastructure upgrades would take place throughout 2012, with the contest in spring of 2013.

The decision about the host city is expected to come in the next few months. San Francisco faces stiff competition from La Maddelena, Italy and Valencia, Spain, which have promised big cash incentives to the race.

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