There’s a low-level buzz around the Bay Area about the 34th America’s Cup, which will be sailed starting in 2013 with the Golden Gate Yacht Club defending its title against a new challenger, the Royal Swedish Yacht Club. In order to build excitement for next year’s race, organizers founded the America’s Cup World Series last year– a series of regattas and fleet races using a smaller 45 foot catamaran than what will be used in next year’s race–with matches already held in San Diego, Venice, and other locations.
Now, the World Series comes to San Francisco starting on August 21. Not only will the event heighten global awareness for America’s Cup 2013, it will also help attract sponsors for the event and possibly help convince the city that big returns will come with local investment. The city had planned to use the race as a means to revitalize its aging waterfront, but potential cost overruns and nervous politicians scrapped the idea. Still, a successful Cup will inject millions into the local economy and could establish San Francisco as the hub for future races.