“NASCAR On The Water”: America's Cup Splashes Down This Week

Let the sailing races begin.

Here come the catamarans.

World-class racing at last splashes down on San Francisco Bay next week, with the first races in the America's Cup World Series.

The 45-foot catamarans will speed by Marina Green between Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge so close "you can almost touch them," and so fast that "there will be some damage for sure," according the Contra Costa Times.

These boats are much smaller than the 72-foot catamarans that will race in the "real" America's Cup finals next summer, the newspaper reported -- but this race is very much real, too.

America's Cup holder Larry Ellison, the Oracle CEO and sailing race team owner, will be on hand to watch the teams vie for the title of top sailor, the newspaper reported.

Aquatic crashes and dangerous splashes? Lead on.

Racing runs from Wednesday to Sunday of next week during the afternoons.

Further events are scheduled for Oct. 2-7 in San Francisco, April 16-21, 2013, in Venice, Italy, and May 14-19, 2013, in Naples, Italy.

Participants in the series including defending team Oracle Team USA and teams from Italy, France, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The America's Cup Village is located at Marina Green during this month's event and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The best viewing for spectators will be from Crissy Field to Marina Green and at Aquatic Park to Pier 27/29, officials said.  However, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District officials said the viewing from the east sidewalk of the bridge is not recommended due to crowding from visitors and bicyclists. 

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