City officials announced today that a piece of the America’s Cup is coming to Alameda: One of the eight teams competing in the sailing regatta is setting up shop at Alameda Point.
Artemis Racing, which represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club and is the challenger of record for the Cup, is leasing a 110,000-square-foot former airplane hangar at Alameda Point. The team has signed a three-month lease - enough to get them through the World Series races in San Francisco this summer - with an option to remain for up to a year, Alameda Community Development Director Lori Taylor said.
“Alameda offers convenient shoreline water access to our racing grounds in San Francisco Bay immediately next to large industrial warehouse space. It is a turn-key option which will allow us to operate efficiently and immediately in 2012,” Artemis Racing’s chief executive officer, Paul Cayard, said. “We all look forward to settling in for this season and making the most of the facility.”
The city has also been designated as an official launching point for accessing the races, with expanded service from its ferry terminals.
City officials said they’re thrilled the 70-person Artemis team has chosen to make Alameda their home away from home, and they touted the array of services, maritime and otherwise, at the team’s disposal.
“We are honored that some of the most elite sailors in the world, commanding the fastest sailing vessels, have chosen to make Alameda their home port,” Mayor Marie Gilmore said. “We enthusiastically welcome the 70-member Artemis Team and their families to our community.”
The city has an America’s Cup committee that has been working to promote Alameda as a destination for teams and visitors, and the leader of that committee expressed his excitement about the team’s arrival.
“Our community is ecstatic about Artemis being here,” said Christopher Seiwald, Chair of the City’s Ad Hoc Committee for the America’s Cup. “It is great news for our local economy that we will be hosting these magnificent catamarans and their crews right here in Alameda.”
The 34th America’s Cup race, which is headed to San Francisco in 2013, is expected to generate $1 billion in economic benefits for that city and draw millions of fans and spectators. Event organizers are hoping the Bay will prove to be a more media- and spectator-friendly location that increases the visibility of the Cup and the sport.
The Cup has been billed as the world’s most prestigious sailing event.
The team, skippered by American Terry Hutchinson, took the match racing championship title in the latest America’s Cup World Series event, which concluded Sunday in Venice. Artemis Racing is in third place in World Series racing so far, holding the top position for match racing and fourth place for fleet racing.
The team became the Challenger of Record in the regatta after an Italian team, Mascalzone Latino Audi, dropped out.
The next World Series event takes place from June 26 to July 1 in Newport, Rhode Island. The Cup comes to San Francisco in late August, when World Series racing takes place, and continues there in October during Fleet Week.
Teams will race for the Louis Vuitton Cup from July 4, 2013 to September 1, 2013, with the winner earning the sole right to challenge defending America’s Cup champion ORACLE Racing for the title.