We gotta have Three Superbowls

Sailing is a gentleman's sport, even at the high-end, right? Of course, but in today's Brave New World of ultra high-tech boats, handsomely paid skippers and crew, state-of-the-art sail (or wing) development programs, multiple boats, huge shore-side commitments, not to mention the broad-audience marketing efforts (if applicable), high-end sailing is rapidly becoming big business, with the America's Cup topping all scales.

While most Cup-obsessed Left Coasters (myself included) have efficiently eliminated most of our fingernails as we await the decision as to if the next Cup will be contested on San Francisco Bay, a report released this week revealed some interesting statistics about the big business that has become the Cup.

The report, which was obtained and released by the San Francisco Chronicle, claims that a SF AC could infuse $1.4 billion into the city—and the state's—economy if it takes place in 2013 or 2014. That's the rough equivalent of hosting three Super Bowls, or so the report claims.

19/02/2010 - Valencia (ESP) - 33rd America's Cup - BMW ORACLE Racing - USA Victory Tour - Day 1 - leaving Valencia***19/02/2010 - Valencia (ESP) - 33rd America's Cup - BMW ORACLE Racing - USA Victory Tour - Day 1 - Leaving Valencia


Ours may be a gentleman's sport, but, provided the winds of change blow from the right direction, this doesn't mean that sailing can't help bolster local economies and put on one hell of a show for match-racing fans the world over.

And speaking of the Cup, three initial winners and seven finalists have now been selected as the 34th America's Cup Video Competition early entry process draws to a close. (Don't panic if you think you lost your chance to enter — the contest will remain open through September.) This competition, which is open to media professionals under the age of 28, is designed to help draw more mainstream attention to the next Cup…wherever it may take place. California's Ricky Lesser was one of the winners, with his piece, 'A bit of Hawai'i'. Hopefully Mr. Lesser's home-state locale will put him in prime geographic position to help shoot the 34th Cup.

Switching gears from carbon fiber to wood, photographer Mark Lloyd has prepared an awe-inspiring gallery of classic-yacht images from the opening day of the British Classic Yacht Club Panerai Cowes Regatta. Trust us when we say that these stunning images are the perfect cure to the mid-week blues.

Fair winds and following seas,