Barclay: The Best America’s Cup Ever?

15/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Final Match, Day 6


"We have now seen more passing in this Cup than any other dating back to the first defense in 1870." - Gary Jobson, NBC commentator.

“Yesterday's race 10 in the 34th America's Cup match between Team New Zealand and ORACLE TEAM USA will, according to many observers, go down in the history books as one of the greatest sailboat races of all time.” – New Zealand Herald Tuesday Sept 17.

“I knew these boats were great for fleet racing but not for match racing. But match racing when they are equal like today is amazing. It will be difficult to go back.” – Bruno Troublé, instigator of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

"If you didn't enjoy [Sunday’s] racing then I think you should probably find another sport." - Dean Barker, skipper Emirates Team New Zealand

Day 4 of the Final Match at 34th America's Cup

There is a theme running through these quotes: this high adrenalin, fast, on-the-edge racing is actually pretty good.

This sentiment is a far cry from the cynicism several columnists and reporters displayed only a few short weeks ago. Nothing is 100% perfect and everything is open to fair comment. But while the critics were quick to pounce earlier, where are the same columnists and reporters’ opinions now?

15/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA CA) - 34th America's Cup -

Similarly the collective silence from San Francisco’s elected officials is deafening. This against a backdrop of the often abused economics of the America’s Cup. The facts are the City’s general fund will be close to breaking even and San Francisco has and will receive hundreds of millions in direct economic benefit and thousands of jobs. Beyond this, there are the intangible benefits of having the city on show in our race broadcasts in 170 territories around the world along with the social media chatter of visitors having a fantastic time in the city.

In the absence of reading it anywhere else, let me give credit where credit is due. Larry Ellison could have chosen anywhere in the world to host the racing and he chose San Francisco. He and Russell Coutts set a bold vision and delivered it. Sure, we wanted more challengers but like all America’s Cup editions, what we remember, what captures our imagination, is the Finals, the actual competition for the America’s Cup…what we are seeing on the Bay right now.

Thank you San Francisco for voting with your feet in the thousands. Some 700,000 of you so far have packed our official venues to the point of us having to halt entry. You could more than double that number if you count the unofficial sites along the waterfront, and this America’s Cup not over yet. Whether it is the official venues - America’s Cup Park at Piers 27/29 and America’s Cup Village at Marina Green, or the public vantage points all along the city front, such as Crissy Field, Fort Mason or Aquatic Park, you are witnessing a vision delivered.

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Enjoy the climax of what could be the best America’s Cup ever, San Francisco’s America’s Cup.

Stephen Barclay
CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority
@stephenjbarclay