America's Cup In Troubled Waters

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Dec 13, 2010  |  Updated 5:45 AM PDT
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America's Cup

Lori Cooney

The San Francisco Bay would not be this empty if the America's Cup race comes in 2013

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The buzz about bringing the America's Cup yacht race to the San Francisco Bay started as soon as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison raised the trophy celebrating his win last February.

Of course the local billionaire would like to bring the race to his home waters.

Well politics and money is making that a tough sell.  Supporters claim the race would bring $1.4 billion in economic benefits to the region.

Outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom has been the City's biggest cheerleader, so he was probably not very happy to receive a letter this weekend from the Golden Gate Yacht Club that seemed to threaten to call off the deal and soon.

The Associated Press reported that the club has told Newsom and city leaders it will lose the right to host in 2013 unless a deal is signed by Friday.

America's Cup official Stephen Barclay said last month that he thought San Francisco had "the winning bid," but has changed his mind now that the Port Commission has changed things, including which group takes the higher financial risk.

The issue is sure to come to head this week with two key meetings on the plan scheduled at City Hall.

"They're holding on by their fingernails at the moment," Barclay told The Associated Press on Saturday from his home in Auckland, New Zealand. "It was theirs to lose and they were told that."

Mr. Ellison is expected to make his choice public by the end of the year, so the clock is ticking on the San Francisco big.

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