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San Francisco May Lose America’s Cup To Rhode Island

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America's Cup sailing race

US challenger BMW Oracle Racing (L) giant trimaran and Swiss defender Alinghi huge catamaran sail at the start of the opening race of the 33rd America’s Cup off Valencia’s coast on February 12, 2010 in Valencia, Spain. (Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP) – Top officials for the America’s Cup flew to Rhode Island to look at possible venues Thursday for the America’s Cup race in Newport.

San Francisco city officials said they were surprised that talks with another American city were intensifying during the final scramble to secure a yacht race that could generate millions for the Bay Area.

“Earlier this year, Rhode Island was under consideration,” said Kyri McClellan, the project manager for overseeing San Francisco’s bid. She said the city edged ahead of other competing American cities this summer.

“I think it was about July that the team gave the city the designation as the only U.S. city under consideration,” Kryi said.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Word that the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s lead negotiator, Stephen Barclay, and Event Authority CEO Craig Thompson were in New England came after a potentially expensive bid from San Francisco got the unanimous endorsement of the Board of Supervisors.

The New York Yacht Club held the America’s Cup race in Newport from 1930 until 1983.

The head of the Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation, Keith Stokes, told the Providence Journal that his agency submitted an outline early in December showing how it could handle pre-regatta races in 2012, and also host the finals. Stokes cautioned though that he didn’t want it to look like Newport was competing with San Francisco.

A decision on who will host the 2013 sailing race is expected by Dec. 31.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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