ORACLE TEAM USA wins 34th America's Cup

ORACLE TEAM USA won the 34th America’s Cup in a winner-take-all 19th race, defeating challenger Emirates Team New Zealand by 44 seconds in today’s clincher. Led by 35-year-old skipper Jimmy Spithill, ORACLE TEAM USA won by the score of 9-8.

This is the second America’s Cup win for ORACLE TEAM USA and Spithill, which won the 162-year-old trophy in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010. Then 30 years of age, Spithill became the youngest to ever skipper a Cup winning team.

In the past week ORACLE TEAM USA has steadily improved its boatspeed to the point where it could hydrofoil upwind at 30-32 knots, incredible performance never seen before in the America’s Cup.

“It was a fantastic race. We wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Spithill, the two-time Cup winner. “We came from behind, the guys showed so much heart. On your own you’re nothing, but a team like this can make you look great… We were facing the barrel of a gun at 8-1 and the guys didn’t even flinch.

“Thanks to San Francisco, this is one hell of a day,” Spithill said.

ORACLE TEAM USA’s victory marks one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of sport. The team won 11 races to score the 9 points required for victory due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury. Just last Wednesday, Sept. 18, ORACLE TEAM USA trailed the series 8-1. With the challenger on match point, the defender closed out the series with eight consecutive victories.

This was the third time in the history of the America’s Cup with a winner-take-all final race. Previously, the defender won in 1920 and the challenger won in 1983. Both times the winner rallied from a multi-race deficit, but never anything amounting to eight straight wins.

“This was a wonderful match of teams,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray, who’s been involved with the America’s Cup since 1983. “In the case of a boat coming from behind, 3-1 down as was the case with Australia II in 83, the shoe is on a different foot this time around. Then it was the challenger behind and this time it was the defender. But in the end we had great competition between two great teams, evenly matched, battling it out to the end.”

Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

One million fans visited the official America’s Cup venues at Piers 27/29 and Marina Green since they opened on July 4, and hundreds of thousands more lined the shores of San Francisco Bay to catch a glimpse of the flying, foiling AC72.

Dean Barker, ETNZ Skipper (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

34th America’s Cup Standings (first to 9 points wins)

ORACLE TEAM USA – 9 (11 wins; ORACLE TEAM USA was penalized its first two victories by the International Jury)
Emirates Team New Zealand – 8

Race 19 Performance Data
Course: 5 Legs/10.07 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 23:24, ETNZ – 24:08
Delta: OTUSA +:44
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.9 NM, ETNZ – 12.2 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 30.55 knots (35 mph), ETNZ – 30.55 knots (35 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 44.33 knots (51 mph), ETNZ – 45.72 knots (53 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 18.2 knots, Peak – 21.3 knots
Number of Tacks/Jibes: OTUSA – 9/7, ETNZ – 9/7

34th America’s Cup Race by Race
Race 1 (Sep. 7): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :36
Race 2 (Sep. 7): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :52
Race 3 (Sep. 8): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :28
Race 4 (Sep. 8): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :08*
Race 5 (Sep. 10): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by 1:05
Race 6 (Sep. 12): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :46
Race 7 (Sep. 12): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by 1:06
Race 8 (Sep. 14): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :52*
Race 9 (Sep. 15): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :47
Race 10 (Sep. 15): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :16
Race 11 (Sep. 18): Emirates Team New Zealand d. ORACLE TEAM USA by :15
Race 12 (Sep. 19): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :31
Race 13 (Sep. 20): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by 1:24
Race 14 (Sep. 22): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :23
Race 15 (Sep. 22): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :37
Race 16 (Sep. 23): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :33
Race 17 (Sep. 24): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :27
Race 18 (Sep. 24): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :54
Race 19 (Sep. 25): ORACLE TEAM USA d. Emirates Team New Zealand by :44
(* ORACLE TEAM USA’s first two victories don’t count towards is scoreline as part of a penalty issued by the International Jury.)

ORACLE TEAM USA (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

As the sun sets on San Francisco and another America’s Cup the defenders keep the cup and look forward to the 35th America’s Cup and the new generation of sailing.

Sunset in San Francisco (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

Final Match - Race Day 2 ( Photo © ACEA / PHOTO GILLES MARTIN-RAGET)

ORACLE TEAM USA notched their first win of the 34th America’s Cup in the fourth race of the regatta today in San Francisco. The crew crossed the line 8 seconds ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand in the second of two races on Sunday. New Zealand won Race 3 earlier in the day and hold the advantage in the series.

“It’s a real confidence boost for the boys,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “The boys really kept their composure. They bounced back after losing that first one – we should have won it – and it says a lot for the team.”

In Race 3, ORACLE TEAM USA took control and led around the first mark after Emirates Team New Zealand faced a penalty. The team carried the advantage on the downwind leg and around the second gate. In the midst of a tacking duel on the upwind leg, New Zealand claimed the lead and held on to finish 29 seconds ahead.

For Race 4, Spithill was in command at the start – both at the first mark and heading into the second gate when the bows dug into the water. ORACLE TEAM USA recovered and did not relinquish the lead, crossing the line 8 seconds in front.

“Honestly, I’m disappointed in the first race – we had a really good shot at winning that one. But, I’m happy with winning the second race today. I think it takes a little bit of the pressure off and it’s a big momentum boost for our team,” said tactician John Kostecki.

“We focused yesterday really on the tacking because our tacking was clearly not as good as theirs,” Kostecki continued. “It looks like we made some gains on that today. The gybes seem to be always getting better as well. So, we’re in pretty good shape to go out and attack on Tuesday.”

08/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA CA) - 34th America's Cup - (Photo © ACEA / PHOTO ABNER KINGMAN)

ORACLE TEAM USA reached a top speed today of 45.97 knots (53 mph) in Race 4 and averaged 30.99 knots (36 mph), both ahead of New Zealand.

Although ORACLE TEAM USA collected a win, Emirates Team New Zealand leads the series 3-0 in points due to a penalty imposed by the Jury. ORACLE TEAM USA will score its first point in its third victory.

“This team is very good under pressure and they will fight the whole way to the end,” Spithill said. “They will run themselves into the ground if that’s what it takes. It feels good to shift the momentum over to us. We’re going to work hard tonight and tomorrow and come out with the same attitude on Tuesday.”

Racing will resume on Tuesday, with the team using Monday as a training day on the water. Tuesday’s races begin at 1:15 pm PT and 2:15 pm PT – races No. 5 and 6 of the match.

In the U.S., the America’s Cup Finals will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. Internationally, the match can be viewed in more than 170 territories. Live racing and replays can also be viewed on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions).

RACE 3 DATA
Course: 5 Legs/9.94 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 25:00, OTUSA – 25:28
Delta: ETNZ +:28
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.8 NM, OTUSA – 12.1 NM
Average Speed: ETNZ – 28.57 knots (33 mph), OTUSA – 28.62 knots (33 mph)
Top Speed: ETNZ – 42.25 knots (49 mph), OTUSA – 41.37 knots (48 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 16.8 knots, Peak – 19.3 knots

RACE 4 DATA
Course: 5 Legs/9.94 nautical miles
Elapsed Time: OTUSA – 22:42, ETNZ – 22:50
Delta: OTUSA +:08
Total distance sailed: OTUSA – 11.7 NM, ETNZ – 11.7 NM
Average Speed: OTUSA – 30.99 knots (36 mph), ETNZ – 30.92 knots (36 mph)
Top Speed: OTUSA – 45.97 knots (53 mph), ETNZ – 44.98 knots (52 mph)
Windspeed: Average – 19.5 knots, Peak – 23.3 knots

STANDINGS
Emirates Team New Zealand – 3
ORACLE TEAM USA – 0

08/09/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Final Match - Race Day 2 (Photo © ACEA / PHOTO GILLES MARTIN-RAGET)

 

San Francisco, Calif., 09/07/2013

San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Oracle vs ETNZ; Day 1 Racing

Emirates Team New Zealand has won the first race of the 2013 America’s Cup. But it wasn’t easy. The Kiwis led off the line and into the first mark. But ORACLE TEAM USA made a pass on the upwind leg, before the Emirates crew regained the lead for good on the second half of the beat.

Emirates Team New Zealand extended on the final run to win by 36-seconds.

“What we saw there was one hell of a yacht race,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “It’s nice to sneak away with a win.”

Race 1 Performance Data

  • Course: 5 Legs/9.71 nautical miles
  • Elapsed Time: ETNZ – 23:30, OTUSA – 24:06
  • Delta: ETNZ +:36
  • Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 11.7 NM, OTUSA – 11.4 NM
  • Average Speed: ETNZ – 30.07 knots (35 mph), OTUSA – 28.58 knots (33 mph)
  • Top Speed: ETNZ – 43.54 knots (50 mph), OTUSA – 42.51 knots (49 mph)
  • Windspeed: Average – 16 knots, Peak – 21 knots

The winner of the 34th America’s Cup will be the first to win 9 points. For the Kiwis that means nine race wins and for ORACLE TEAM USA it means 11, due to a penalty imposed by the International Jury. Racing is scheduled for Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with two races per day scheduled to start at 1:15 and 2:15 pm PT.

In the U.S., the America’s Cup Finals will be broadcast live on NBC and NBC Sports Network. Replays will be available on the America’s Cup YouTube channel. Racing on Saturday and Sunday will be broadcast live nationally on NBC, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm PT.

Internationally, the America’s Cup Final can be viewed in more than 170 territories. All racing is also live on America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions).

You can also follow racing with the America’s Cup App for android and iOS devices.

34th America's Cup - Oracle vs ETNZ; Day 1 Racing

ORACLE TEAM USA 2013

 

ORACLE TEAM USA unveiled its crew to race in the 34th America’s Cup today. With Jimmy Spithill at the helm, the 11-member crew will comprise the starting lineup when the team’s quest to defend the America’s Cup begins on San Francisco Bay this Saturday.

Spithill, the youngest winning skipper in America’s Cup history, takes the helm again, this time on the team’s AC72 catamaran. The crew also features grinder Shannon Falcone, grinder Rome Kirby, grinder/tactician John Kostecki, wing trimmer Kyle Langford, grinder Jonathan Macbeth, jib trimmer Joe Newton, grinder Gilberto Nobili, grinder/strategist Tom Slingsby, grinder Joe Spooner and grinder Simeon Tienpont.

“We’ve got a great mix across the board – from Rome and Kyle, the youngest on the team, to JK [Kostecki], who is one of the most experienced. It’s a great group, and these guys are all incredibly hard workers,” Spithill said. “We have our boats, we have our race crew, now we’re all really ready to race.”

The 34th America’s Cup commences on Saturday, Sept. 7, on the San Francisco Bay. Two races are scheduled with the first starting at 1:10 pm local, followed by race two at 2:10 pm local. Races will be broadcast in the U.S. on NBC for the first two days before reverting to the NBC Sports Network, with live coverage of all races.

“We’ve got a fantastic team all around – our shore crew, our support team – and everyone is working hard to get us ready every day,” Spithill said. “We’re all here to go racing, and come Saturday, that’s what we’ll do.”

 

THE CREW

Jimmy Spithill, Helmsman
Birthdate: June 28, 1979
Jimmy boxes with fast hands, serves a fast ball in tennis, needs horsepower under his right foot and, on a race boat, likes to “send it.” He is the America’s Cup’s youngest-ever winning skipper, and twice he’s been named the Australian Male Yachtsman of the Year. Going fast is what he does.

Shannon Falcone, Grinder
Birthdate: June 28, 1981
Shannon’s first footsteps as a child were on his father’s 44-footer Caccia alla Volpe. He went on to win several championships around the world including a 33rd America’s Cup.

Rome Kirby, Grinder
Birthdate: June 6, 1989
Rome is among the youngest members of ORACLE TEAM USA. He recently completed the around the world Volvo Ocean Race onboard with PUMA Ocean Racing, sailing more than 39,000 nautical miles.

John Kostecki, Grinder/Tactician
Birthdate: June 7, 1964
San Francisco native John Kostecki was the first sailor in the world to collect the sport’s “Grand Slam,” after winning the 33rd America’s Cup, adding to his round-the-world 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race victory as skipper and Olympic silver medal at the 1988 Games.

Kyle Langford, Wing Trimmer
Birthdate: July 30, 1989
As the youngest sailor on ORACLE TEAM USA, Kyle is accepting the challenge full-on. He is no stranger to skipper Jimmy Spithill. The Aussie compatriots teamed together in 2010 aboard yacht 17 to win the RC 44 World Championship and RC 44 World Match Race Championship.

Jonathan Macbeth, Grinder
Birthdate: March 26, 1973
Seasoned sailor Jonathan “Jono” Macbeth has garnered his fair share of championships, including a Louis Vuitton Cup win and two America’s Cup titles.

Joe Newton, Jib Trimmer
Birthdate: December 16, 1977
Australian mates skipper Jimmy Spithill and Joe Newton formed a tight bond in their early days competing with Young Australia, and the duo went on to win the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010.

Gilberto Nobili, Grinder
Birthdate: April 29, 1974
Gilberto Nobili, “Gillo,” is not only an America’s Cup champion but also a double-agent for the team – sailor by day and Java developer by night, building customized displays for each crew member onboard the AC72.

Tom Slingsby, Grinder/Strategist
Birthdate: September 5, 1984
Tom Slingsby is an all-around athlete, with a promising tennis career and a gold medal in sailing from the 2012 Olympic Games in his past and the 34th America’s Cup Finals in his future.

Joe Spooner, Grinder
Birthdate: October 31, 1973
Entering into this 34th America’s Cup, skilled sailor Joe Spooner already has two America’s Cup titles, three Fastnet Race wins and a Rolex Maxi Worlds championship in his trophy case.

Simeon Tienpont, Grinder
Birthdate: January 20, 1982
Simeon is no stranger to speed, sailing with the record-setting 24-hour monohull run in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2005-06 and a 33rd America’s Cup title. He is a jack of all trades from a shipbuilding family and studied design and construction of yachts at university.

Artemis Racing is being launched and christened The Christening was witnessed by The whole shore team, sailing team and their families an.d friends. 22nd of July, 2013, Alameda, USA

 

Artemis Racing held a private team gathering this morning at its base in Alameda to christen the team’s second AC72.

Syndicate founder Torbjörn Törnqvist attended the early morning ceremony along with 300 members of Artemis Racing, including family and friends. The team’s new yacht, christened Artemis Racing, looked sharp with its navy blue hulls.

The team’s Swedish roots are recognized with the Swedish flag painted on the sterns and three crowns on the bows. The tres kronors is a national emblem of Sweden.

“This is a great day for many reasons,” said Törnqvist, who spoke before the crowd. “It’s the culmination of a heroic effort to put together this beautiful boat. The shore team has put so much into this, and now for our sailing team to get out there and give her justice. I am proud to share with you this great moment.”

Artemis Racing suffered an accident on May 9 in which the team’s first yacht capsized and broke apart and crewman Andrew Simpson perished. That accident was just two and a half months ago, and since then the team has been working many hours to get back on the water.

“I don’t think anyone fully appreciates the hill Artemis Racing has climbed to get to this point,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “It’s a substantial rebuild of the team in terms of building the confidence back, the morale, and I’ve seen the momentum gathering. They’ve worked tirelessly, and I have my admiration for the way they’ve gone about it.”

The team said that the yacht, dubbed “Big Blue,” will undergo dock tuning in an effort to get it ready for sailing.

Artemis Racing is being launched and christened by Sarah Gundersen in the presence of Torbjörn Törnqvist and his son Frederic. The Christening was witnessed by The whole shore team, sailing team and their families and friends. 22nd of July, 2013, Alameda, USA

21/07/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin - Luna Rossa vs Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo © ACEA / PHOTO GILLES MARTIN-RAGET)

Emirates Team New Zealand suffered its first breakdown during racing today in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, but that didn’t stop the Kiwi crew from defeating Luna Rossa Challenge.

Sailing on the third of seven legs, a clip failed at the head of the sail that holds it to the headstay of Aotearoa. It took the crew more almost three minutes to detach the sail from the headstay and pitch it overboard, where it was retrieved by crew in the team’s chase boat.

Skipper Dean Barker and the Kiwis continued on, powered only by the 131-tall wing foot sail, and defeated the Italian syndicate by 2 minutes and 19 seconds to score their sixth point of the challengers’ series.

21/07/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin - Luna Rossa vs Emirates Team New Zealand

“It’s one of those frustrating, annoying things,” said Barker. “We’ve never ever had an issue with the attachment of the jib before, but as is normal, when you start racing things like this happen. The encouraging thing is the guys did a very good job to address the situation and deal with it. The way the guys responded and settled into it was good.”

Emirates Team New Zealand hardly seemed affected by the lack of a jib, but Barker said they need the headsail to balance the 72-foot long catamaran.

“It’s very hard to get the boat hooked up in jibes, we didn’t jibe as well without the jib,” Barker said. “If you were going to sail with the jib only you’d have different board and rudder positions to balance out the boat better.”

Skipper Max Sirena’s Italian crew improved its performance from the teams’ previous meeting on July 13. They cut more than three minutes off the time difference, but couldn’t capitalize on the New Zealanders’ breakdown.

“We did a few changes on the boat, increased the aero package and a few changes in the systems to the boards,” said Sirena. “Today the Kiwis showed really good speed around the course. We sailed well around the course, which was the main goal, but we need to try and improve as a crew and our boatspeed in the next few weeks.”

After a day off tomorrow the two teams square off again on Tuesday with the start scheduled at 12:15 pm PT. The race will be broadcast globally on the America’s Cup YouTube channel, subject to territorial restrictions, beginning at 12:00 pm.

About today’s race:

Seven-leg America’s Cup course
Course length: 15.43 nautical miles
Elapsed times: ETNZ – 48:10; LR – 50:29
Total distance sailed: ETNZ – 19.4 nautical miles; LR – 19.99 nautical miles
Average speed: ETNZ – 24.19 knots (27.8 mph); LR – 23.77 konts (27.35 mph)
Top speed: ETNZ – 38.72 knots (44.5 mph); LR – 37.73 knots (43.4 mph)
Wind speed: average 13.8 knots; peak gust 20.5 knots

The schedule ahead:
Tuesday, July 23, Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
Thursday, July 25, Artemis Racing vs. Luna Rossa Challenge
Saturday, July 27, Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Artemis Racing
Sunday, July 28, Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Luna Rossa Challenge

4/07/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin - Race Day 5 - ETNZ Vs Artemis Racing (DNS)

Emirates Team New Zealand today scored its fourth point in four races of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series.

Skipper Dean Barker and the Kiwi crew sailed the course unopposed because its scheduled opponent, Artemis Racing, is still assembling its AC72. Yesterday, the Swedish team said it hopes to be on the water by next weekend.

About today’s race:

Emirates Team New Zealand sailed the five-leg America’s Cup course
Course length: 9.89 nautical miles
Elapsed time: 25 minutes, 56 seconds
Total distance sailed: 11.44 nautical miles
Average speed: 26.52 knots (30.5 mph)
Top speed: 40.62 knots (46.7 mph) on the final reaching leg to the finish
Wind speed: average 15.78 knots; peak gust 19.7 knots

Quotes from Rob Waddell, grinder for Emirates Team New Zealand:
On the day’s race: “It’s always a good day to bring the boat in and not have anything major happen to it. It’s a fast and exciting boat, but there’s risk there. You have to make sure everything runs smoothly, and we’re looking forward to getting more racing under our belt.”
On his position grinding on Pedestal 2: “We named our crewmembers based on the pedestal, but we quite like names like ‘freestyler’ and things like that. So we might have to get more inventive than ‘Pedestal 2.’ Where I stand on Pedestal 2 is more in the aft end of the boat so I tend to be more tied up with wing trim. But you end up going throughout boat. I think a skill of the crew is knowing what to prioritize and what’s important and when to do it.”
Waddell won a gold medal in the single sculls in the 2000 Olympics, and he commented on the physical exertion compared to grinding on an AC72: “They’re both physical. The new AC72’s a really physical boat. It’s equally demanding as anything I’ve done in a single scull. I guess the difference is that in the scull you’re doing a 7-minute sustained push. You don’t really stop in the 30 or 40 minutes of racing the AC72, but it’s very loaded, very heavy and lots of it. You come off wishing you were fitter, stronger, faster, but you do what you can.”

Quotes from David Carr, grinder for Luna Rossa Challenge, guest commentator on the host broadcast:
“Difference between a foiling jibe and non-foiling jibe is about 100 meters.”
“Perfect foiling height is about one-half meter above the water.”

The schedule ahead:
Tuesday, July 16, Artemis Racing vs. Luna Rossa Challenge
Thursday, July 18, Artemis Racing vs. Emirates Team New Zealand
Saturday, July 20, Luna Rossa Challenge vs. Artemis Racing
Sunday, July 21, Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Luna Rossa Challenge

14/07/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America's Cup - Louis Vuitton Cup - Round Robin - Race Day 5 - ETNZ Vs Artemis Racing (DNS)

Opening Ceremony emcee Ted Robinson (left) and ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill talk about the America's Cup (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget)

The 2013 America’s Cup opened amid great fanfare and celebration today with the grand Opening Ceremony on the main stage at the America’s Cup Pavilion.

With the sailors of the four teams contesting the 2013 America’s Cup—ORACLE TEAM USA, Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge and Artemis Racing—standing behind her, Lucy M. Jewett, recently elected to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, brought the opening ceremony to a close by saying, “Let the racing begin.”

Streamers help close the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 America's Cup with the sailors from the four teams on stage. (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget)

With those words paper streamers were shot from air guns, a flock of doves was released and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” rang out over the full house crowd that took in the Opening Ceremony, a fraction of the 30,000 visitors who toured the Park on a sun-splashed Independence Day holiday in the United States.

For the first time since 1995, the America’s Cup is being hosted in the U.S.

“Welcome to San Francisco,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “It’s an honor and privilege to be the mayor of the host city for the America’s Cup.”

“I’d like to extend a big thank you to San Francisco for making all of this possible,” said America’s Cup Event Authority CEO Stephen Barclay. “This won’t be remembered as the 2013 America’s Cup or the 34th America’s Cup, but the San Francisco America’s Cup.”

The Opening Ceremony featured cultural performances from the four competing nations. The U.S. was represented by the Recycle Percussion troupe, New Zealand by the Maori performing arts group Te Waka Huia, Italy by the tenor Pasquale Esposito and Sweden by the Voices of Sweden Choir.

Charlotte Schultz, David Chiu, Monique Moyer, Stephen Barclay and Valérie Chapoulaud (left to right) at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the America's Cup Park, at Piers 27/29. (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget)

Additional performances were from Misa Malone, from the cast of Beach Blanket Babylon, who sang “San Francisco,” and Nayah Damasen, an 8-year-old from San Jose, Calif., who sang the National Anthem. Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard Color Guard and the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps ushered in the American flag and the flags of Italy, New Zealand and Sweden.

The park officially opened shortly after noon time with San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Monique Moyer, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco, Valérie Chapoulaud, the CEO of Louis Vuitton Americas, Charlotte Schultz, the Chief of Protocol for the city and county of San Francisco, and the ACEA’s Barclay, participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the entrance to the America’s Cup Park.

When the gates opened a few thousand people flooded into the park. As the crowd increased into the tens of thousands throughout the afternoon, the fans took in many of the exhibits and fan friendly lounge areas and concessions.

One visiting family was the Browns from Destin, Fla., who changed their typical summer vacation plans to visit San Francisco for the month of July.

“We’re very impressed with the venue,” said Alex Brown “My husband Jerry is very excited about the America’s Cup.”

“We’re looking forward to getting out on the water and watching the racing,” said Jerry Brown.

Tomorrow the America’s Cup action takes to the water with a fleet parade scheduled to begin at 11:00 am PT. The parade of some 45 boats is expected to include the AC72s, the foiling, flying catamarans developed specifically for the 2013 America’s Cup. The parade will pass along the city front to the America’s Cup Village, at Marina Green.

At 12:15 pm PT Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge and ORACLE TEAM USA are scheduled to participate in the AC72 Time Trials, which will be held over the five-leg America’s Cup course. The starts will be staggered by 10 minutes off the America’s Cup Village and finish off the America’s Cup Park with many viewing opportunities along the shoreline.

On race day afternoons throughout the Summer of Racing, the America’s Cup Pavilion stage will showcase local performing artists free to the public. The Opening Weekend features five local bands with the first of these performances on Friday, July 5, from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm PT.

The headliner act is New Diplomat, an American Alternative – Electronic Rock band. Featuring members from around the world, the band formed in 2010 and has since gathered a significant following, blending a combination of alt rock, indie pop and electronic music.

The opening act is The Five Hundreds, a San Francisco-based classic rock band that plays a mix of well-crafted original songs and high-energy rock and roll covers.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Lucy M. Jewett and Regatta Director Iain Murray (left to right) at the Opening Ceremony for the 2013 America's Cup. (Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget)