Wow, what a weekend! I went up to San Francisco, Aug 22-26 for the America’s Cup World Series. The event was held in front of Marina Green park, between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. I went to watch the races on four days so I was able to check out the multiple viewing areas. On Thursday and Sunday I stayed on the shore at Marina Green. On Friday I watched from the end of the peninsula near the yacht clubs. On Saturday I had a ticket for The Deck, a set of bleachers at Marina Green. All of the viewing areas were great. The free seating at Marina Green park was near where the teams boarded their boats and it was the best place to view the finish of all of the races. From Marina Green park, the peninsula blocked the view of the start and west side of the course. Watching from the peninsula was great for the start and west side of the course. To see the finish and east side of the course I had to move over to the other side of the peninsula. It wasn’t a problem but I ended up moving back and forth a couple of times during each race. Another problem with watching from the peninsula was that you couldn't hear the announcers. They said they might try to fix that for the October regatta. Having a seat in The Deck at Marina Green was probably the best. The little bit of elevation was enough to see the entire race course, even the start. If you are only able to go for one day I would recommend sitting at The Deck. I think it’s a bit too expensive to sit there every day though.
The America’s Cup village was located at Marina Green. There were several exhibits and vendors to visit. There was an AC45 on display for you to see up close, out of the water. There was a main stage for music acts and award ceremonies. The village also contained champagne, wine, and beer gardens, and food vendors. The team bases were located in an area so that you could view the teams getting ready. Of course there were also gift shops, a general America’s Cup one with most of the teams represented and a giant Oracle Team USA store.
I read that there were over 150,000 spectators for the entire weekend in San Francisco. The organizers did a really good job of making the event fan friendly. I have already bought my plane tickets (on Virgin America of course) to return for the October races which will be held during Fleet Week. Please have a look at my photos from the weekend on Flickr. If you like sailing and photography it really is a fantastically scenic arena. I had an amazing time and can’t wait to return in October.