Sunday, July 07, 2013
America's Cup Park Opening
The America's Cup Park on San Francisco's Embarcadero opened its gates to the public for 4th of July opening ceremonies, but the 7,000-seat Pavilion was only half full for the afternoon event.
The Pavilion was even less populated when a large chunk of the crowd drifted away after a series of excruciatingly boring corporate style videos interspersed with inane patter from two emcees who kept telling us how "exciting" and "amazing" this entire experience was. The onstage introduction of the four teams from Italy, Sweden, New Zealand and the United States should have been fun but was not, partly because each country's entrance was prefaced by dreary musical acts.
The America's Cup in September will be preceded by two months of round-robin races for the Louis Vuitton Cup throughout July and August. This will determine who will be the challenger to the defending Oracle USA Team. Sailing was to have begun on Friday the next day, but was cancelled because of strong winds, which seems absurd for a sailboat race in a bay. However, the over-engineered designs in this iteration of the Cup have already contributed to the crashing of two boats and the killing of an experienced sailor during practice runs.
You can also shop at a pop-up store with Louis Vuitton's branded luxury goods. According to the covetous Beth Spotswood, the special edition LV NeverFull above will only set you back $1,430. The matching shoes are extra.
Surrounding the store is the indoor/outdoor, two-story CLUB72, with its red carpet entrance, where the elite meet in private lounges and a bay view sundeck.
Alongside the east section of the newly constructed America's Cup Park were four Super Yachts which are part of the America's Cup Super Yacht Regatta, with boats ranging from 85 to 300 feet.
Most of the Super Yachts were from George Town CI. According to an internet search, the CI stands for Cayman Islands, one of the world capitals for money laundering and corporate billionaire tax avoidance.
There are also a few public bars and beer gardens for the peons whose taxes are paying for this infrastructure...
...and there's a big screen TV in front of the "Kids Zone" where you can try to follow the arcane rules of sailboat racing.
The first Louis Vuitton Cup race was set for today, between New Zealand and Italy, but the Italians have just announced they are boycotting today's race because of recent design change demands being made by Oracle USA, supposedly for "safety." An international sailing jury will announce a ruling on the issue Monday, at which point either litigation or racing or both will ensue. So far, this event has been eerily cursed and perfectly bizarre.