SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Thousands of people are converging on San Francisco this weekend to watch giant high-tech sailboats from around the world race on the bay at super high speeds. The United States Sail Grand Prix is returning to the Bay Area for its third year at a time when local tourism officials say it's needed most.
If you have a need for speed, check out the adrenaline pumping sailboat race on the bay, known as SailGP. It's where 50-foot catamarans or 'F50s' almost fly across the water, so close to shore.
"It amazing to watch these hydro foiling rocket ships, which hit 60 mph," said SailGP's Laura Muma.
This weekend, the SailGP season three grand final is matching nine sailing teams from around the world.
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"It's the Super Bowl of our league. Stakes are high and competition at the highest level," said Mac Agnese from Team USA.
"This is one of the most knowledgeable cities for sailing and racing. All teams love coming back, especially those who were here for America's Cup. In many ways, it's a homecoming," Muma said.
Thousands of sailing enthusiasts are coming to the Marina Green to watch.
"The commentary is excellent. The vibe is excellent. We're getting into sailing. It's an exciting time for the sport," said Erwin Naido from Toronto.
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The event comes at a crucial time -- when SF is trying to revive tourism -- post-pandemic.
"San Francisco is still struggling to recover from pre-pandemic levels of tourism, is off 25% of the number of visitors who come here. Business travel is down. People are not working in their offices, so events like this really make a difference, because they bring people into town," said Joe D'Allesandro, SF Travel president and CEO. .
The economic boost is welcome, just like strong winds for the competing sailors.
The final race happens on Sunday. The winning team gets bragging rights and $1 Million dollars.
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