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America’s Cup Opening Ceremony Set For Thursday

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The boats sail past the San Francisco waterfront during a fleet race in the America's Cup World Series on August 23, 2012 in San Francisco.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The boats sail past the San Francisco waterfront during a fleet race in the America’s Cup World Series on August 23, 2012 in San Francisco. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/BCN) — The America’s Cup regatta starts later this week in San Francisco with an opening ceremony and the first preliminary race.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at the America’s Cup Park at Piers 27-29.

The ceremony will include the three challengers – Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge team, Emirates Team New Zealand and Sweden’s Artemis Racing – as well as the cup’s defender, Oracle Team USA, which won the last America’s Cup in 2010 and chose San Francisco as the location of the next regatta.

On Friday, a boat parade will commence at 11 a.m. from Pier 14, proceeding north along San Francisco’s waterfront to the America’s Cup Village at Marina Green.

The AC-72 boats, 72-foot vessels being raced for the first time in this year’s competition, will join the parade, then participate in time trials on the race course on the San Francisco Bay.

The first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, which will decide who competes against Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Finals in September, will take place on Sunday between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge. The race starts at 12:15 p.m.

The Sweden-based Artemis Racing team will be joining the preliminary races late following the death of their sailor Andrew Simpson in a capsizing during a practice run on May 9 that also heavily damaged the team’s boat.

More information about the race schedule can be found online at www.americascup.com.

(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco and Bay City News. All rights reserved.)

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