SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – There was another reason to celebrate this Independence Day as the ribbon was cut on the America’s Cup Park on the San Francisco waterfront.

Thousands were on hand for Thursday’s America’s Cup opening ceremony, which kicked off a summer of sailing in San Francisco.

The 9,000 seat America’s Cup Pavilion at Piers 27/29, which has already played host to a handful of concerts,  hosted the opening ceremonies, which included the introduction of all four teams competing this summer.

Josh Maddox said only in San Francisco could this kind of venue be put together so quickly.

“We’re very excited about seeing the competition, the races beginning,” he said. “We hope there aren’t any crashes and hopefully they’ll be really safe.”

Maddox and his wife, Kathy Pew, sail with the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. She said she’s thrilled this is the first America’s Cup in the history of the event to be sailed in a bay.

“When it’s offshore, you can’t even enjoy it. So here in the San Francisco Bay, it’s going to be so much more fun for everyone to see,” Pew said.

As she snapped pictures of the AC72 catamarans that will be used in the races, Andrea Henkins admitted she was only here to escape the heat in her hometown of Sacramento. “I’m actually not really a fan, but it’s kind of exciting and I think I may become one,” she said.

Time trials and a boat parade will be held on Friday with the first race in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, which will determine the team that faces Oracle Team USA, to be held on Sunday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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