Thursday, January 17, 2013

America's Cup - SF 2013

America's Cup and The Bay Trail
January 2013

People have asked me if they can view the 34th America's Cup (AC34) yacht races (Summer 2013) from the San Francisco Bay and Bay Trail. The answer is yes, and maybe. The races are expected to draw thousands of visitors, and walking and bike paths will be an important part of getting people there and limiting car congestion.

Construction has been underway for some time to get ready for this event, along the Embarcadero, Piers 15-17 (new home of the Exploratorium), and Fisherman's Wharf, and other areas near or including the Bay Trail -- including segments of refurbished Trail segments for bicyclists and pedestrians. I look forward to walking these segments when they're completed.

More on the America's Cup
The races take place in 3 stages. The earliest America's Cup World Series took place in August and October 2012.

The races in 2013 begin with the Louis Vuitton Challenge Cup (July 4 - Sept. 1), and culminate with the America's Cup Finals from Sept. 7 until as late as Sept. 23, 2013. For more information and final dates, check with the America's Cup website.  Also check the Port of San Francisco site and the San Francisco Bay Trail website (click on the Maps/Guides tab).

The Red Bull Youth America's Cup selection series of races will be coming up in February (with final races in September) 2013.

Where to Watch
Most of the action is happening in northeast San Francisco, and viewing areas may stretch from the Marina Green/Presidio area in the north, to several piers south of the Bay Bridge.

Note: odd numbered piers start at the San Francisco Ferry Building (located at the end of Market Street), and extend north. Even numbered piers start at the SF Ferry Building and increase in number further south.

Possible viewing areas on the Bay Trail: Crissy Field (Warming Hut), Marina, Fort Mason (Greens), Aquatic Park, Hyde St. Pier, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and places along the Embarcadero that offer Bay views. (See also previous walk entries and places to eat page on this site for more places in San Francisco.) There are also small pocket parks, some benches, and pier areas where boats may be visible.

Boats may also be viewable (depending on weather, fog) from the Bay Trail in other areas: Northwest Alameda; Alcatraz Island; Angel Island; Fort Baker; Fort Point; the Golden Gate Bridge; and Treasure Island. Bring your binoculars.

Where to Stay
Many of the hotels will have been booked by now. However, there are some great alternative sites that may have units or rooms available in San Francisco. Or, why not stay on a houseboat in Sausalito? Sausalito is a waterfront community (on the Bay Trail) on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge; ferries travel between Sausalito and San Francisco, Tiburon, Angel Island, Alameda, and other destinations. (See my earlier entries on Sausalito to get a feel of the place.)