Monday, September 09, 2013
America's Cup Sideshow
Curious about the mysterious America's Cup Muni Shuttle from Civic Center to the Marina Green, I jumped on a shockingly clean new bus with one other passenger on Saturday afternoon. The gentleman above had been trying to take public transit to the Opening Day races from El Cerrito, but once he arrived at the Civic Center BART station, there was no signage or anybody helping out with directions, and it took him 45 minutes to figure out that he needed to stand in front of the scuzzy Burger King at Grove, Larkin and Market to catch a shuttle.
We arrived at Bay and Fillmore and walked to the Marina Green just as the second of two races between New Zealand and the U.S. team had finished.
Though the Kiwis slaughtered the American team in both races, few people were looking very sad. In truth, most of San Francisco is rooting for New Zealand to win the Cup, partly because Larry Ellison has become such a ripe symbol of Silicon Valley capitalism at its greediest and most rapacious.
The scene at the Marina Green was unexpectedly entertaining and lively, though, with a practice scheduled after the two America's Cup races for an 18-foot catamaran race in the Marina Harbor on Sunday with close to two dozen boats in competition.
Besides the pleasure of nautical beefcake everywhere you looked...
...the carrying of these top-heavy boats down a loading dock and into the harbor...
...turned out to be enormous fun for the spectators.
There were strong wind gusts from the Pacific Ocean, and the practicing contestants were tipping over with abandon, and in some cases required towing assistance before they drifted into the nearby breakwater.
The America's Cup races resume on Tuesday (New Zealand 3, U.S. minus one thanks to cheating) in the early afternoon, and I would recommend the Marina Green site over Pier 27 because you can spread out, watch for free, and hang out with celebratory Kiwis.