By Yachts Yachting // 12th June 2015 —
While the America’s Cup organisers have opted out of San Francisco as a venue for the event, Tom Ehman, the Vice-Commodore of the club that holds the trophy, the Golden Gate YC, has launched a new event on the Bay, writes Bob Fisher.
The San Francisco Yacht Racing Challenge will be held in one-design 12-Metre yachts with the first regatta in July 2017. The boats will be designed specially for the event and constructed by a single builder from one set of moulds, using modern materials and all spars will come from a single manufacturer, as will the sails. Within a week of being announced, the interest of most suppliers was in an advanced stage.
Ehman has been joined by a past-Commodore of the St.Francis YC in this project and they see three types of teams, which must consist of all members of the same nation. They are the sole owner who will pay for and run the team; secondly a syndicate of affluent men and women who share the expenses; and the entrepreneur, as was Dennis Conner in 1995, securing funding from commercial sources.
Crews shall consist of 11 persons of which two must be men and two women, and two under 22 years old. In addition a twelfth-man must be over 62, and there is room for a 13th person, from sponsors or media, who is non-participating.
Racing will take place each July, when the winds in San Francisco Bay will be at their strongest, and consist of mixed fleet and match racing.