America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities

34th America's Cup racing San Francisco
The America's Cup Event Authority has announced that two potential host cities for the 35th America's Cup have been shortlisted. They are San Diego and the island of Bermuda.

Chicago, which had also been under consideration, has been dropped off the list, and is now an option for America’s Cup World Series racing in 2015 and 2016.

'Both Bermuda and San Diego have made very compelling cases to be the host for the next America’s Cup,' said Russell Coutts, Director of the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA). 'We will be in good hands with either venue.'

Bermuda aerial view
Bermuda Aerial Media

Bermuda is 640 miles (1,030 km) east-southeast of North Carolina. It is known to sailors for the Newport to Bermuda race, as well as the Bermuda Gold Cup match-racing event, both of which have a long history of success on the island and a sterling reputation among sailors. America’s Cup racing in Bermuda would take place close to shore, within the Great Sound.

The British Overseas Territory is not part of USA and new of their advancement to the final two cities was leaked in a tweet said to have been sent by the Premier, later quickly denied. However a similar incident occurred before the elimination of San Francisco as a potential venue.

AUS 138 - Evny Scooters - Melges 32 World Championship Miami 2014 Day one.
Melges 32/Carlo Borlenghi

San Diego is one of only seven cities to have hosted the America’s Cup. When the Cup was previously held there in 1988, 1992 and 1995, the race course was offshore, on the ocean waters beyond Point Loma. But if San Diego were selected as the venue this time, racing would take place in San Diego Bay, offering incredible viewing opportunities for spectators along the city’s waterfront.

The leg length inside the San Diego bay is about 2.2nm long substantially less than the 3.6nm of San Francisco, which took the wingsailed AC72 multihulls just six minutes to complete.

Although several strong Challengers have announced they are interested in competing in the 35th America's Cup, they are largely stalled pending a venue decision. Many have expressed a clear preference for San Francisco, the home waters of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the current Defender of the America's Cup. After a similar venue selection process for the last America's Cup was conducted which included San Diego on the final short list. The Port has also hosted two previous America's Cups (1992 and 1995), and was the training base for Oracle Racing wing sailed trimaran prior to the 2010 America's Cup.

Entries for the 35th America's Cup close on August 8, 2014. So far no teams, other than the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, have indicated that they have lodged a Challenge for the 162 year old trophy. It seems that the consultation process with the interested teams is at best minimal. The Challenger for the 34th America's Cup, Team New Zealand said last month that they had no communication with Oracle Team USA or the regatta organizers, in the nine months that had passed since the 34th Match in San Francisco.

To advance the venue selection process over the coming months, the America’s Cup Event Authority says it will work closely with both venues to finalize logistics requirements and commercial opportunities, as well as to establish the needed relationships with private and public entities to ensure a successful event.

It is through this process that the final host city for the next America’s Cup will emerge says the ACEA.

'We are now able to focus on two venues that are motivated and enthusiastic at the prospect of hosting the next America’s Cup,' Coutts concluded. 'I’m confident that we’re on target to finish with a venue that allows us to achieve our goal of hosting an exciting and successful America’s Cup built on a strong commercial foundation.'

The host city for the next America’s Cup will be announced by ACEA before the end of this year.

Americas Cup website