SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The trimaran that won America’s Cup last year has arrived in San Francisco. Its presence in the Bay is considered the first “real” sign of San Francisco’s successful bid to host the 2013 America’s Cup.
KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:
Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing team won last year’s America’s Cup, beating Alinghi off Valencia, Spain on Feb. 14, 2010. The 223 ft. wingsail mast of Ellison’s USA 17 is credited with making it the fastest yacht in the world, capturing the prized America’s Cup trophy.
That wingsail, however, couldn’t actually fit beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Consequently, instead of sailing home, USA 17 was broken down in Spain shipped to San Francisco on a freighter. That ship docked earlier this week in San Francisco, where Ellison has rented space at Pier 80 to store the winning yacht.
He reportedly planned to display USA 17 once it is reassembled, though no time estimate had been released for such a public display.
Assuming the yacht does go on display, it would be an incredible sight.
“There’s absolutely no design handbook for this type of boat. It was all original work, all slightly risky, slightly dangerous, and all new ground,” described Oracle’s racing design coordinator, Ian Burns. “It was really an example of what America can put together when it takes on the rest of the world.”
Proponents of San Francisco’s bid to host America’s Cup repeatedly cited the potential economic benefits of the race, and the arrival of Ellison’s yacht is one more feather in their cap.
“There are 30, 40 guys working on that ship right now that wouldn’t be working today if it wasn’t for America’s Cup,” explained Port of San Francisco deputy director of maritime, Peter Dailey. “These longshoremen are making good wages and they’re working, they’re going to be here for the next two or three days unloading this vessel.”
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