Bay Area to get America's Cup preview

August 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The world's best sailors will race some of the fastest boats on the globe in San Francisco Bay this week. The America's Cup World Series kicks off on Tuesday.

There are eight teams that will be taking part in this competition and a total of 11 boats. Some of them are at Pier 32. The impressive 45-foot catamarans have 70-foot-high masts.

These teams will be racing in this week's America's Cup World Series. Although it was pretty calm on Monday, a couple of teams got into trouble over the weekend. Video posted on YouTube shows Team Korea's catamaran capsizing. A shore crew was up all night repairing the vessel. They say it's all part of racing in the bay, an area known for its consistent winds and strong currents.

"For us it's just a lot more work because they break the boat every day, so then we have to fix it so it's ready for the next day. So a lot of long nights and all that sort of stuff," said Tom Kiff from team Korea.

When the teams aren't practicing or racing, they're catamarans are at piers 30 and 32. A steady flow of admirers stopped by to take a look.

"These boats are the sexiest thing ever. I mean honestly," said Neelu Jain.

Jain became a fan of sailing 15 years ago after spending time on a boat during a trip to the South Pacific. She plans to head to the marina green on Saturday, where bleachers have been set up for people who want to watch the race.

"You have to be so technically savvy to race them well. It's international, that's kind of cool. It's just really kind of a neat sport," said Jain.

This week's races in San Francisco, followed by another round in October, are essentially a trial run for next year's America's Cup, when oracle team USA will be defending its title on home surf. There's no question their challengers will be using this opportunity to learn as much as they can.

"The time the guys spend on the water sailing is priceless, priceless knowledge. It's like playing a practice round at a golf course tournament. You know, you can't play the course in too many conditions, too often," said event spokesperson Tim Jeffery.

The event kicks off with practice rounds on Tuesday. Racing begins on Wednesday and ends on Sunday.

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