The Fun Begins
The America’s Cup Express, a train stretching 1.5 miles long, rolled into San Francisco Tuesday ahead of the first San Francisco Bay racing less than a month away. The 121 railroad cars are carrying precious cargo required to move the America’s Cup World Series and the teams into the host city of the Cup ahead of racing between Aug. 21 to 26, 2012.
“In less than one month, we’ll be racing for the very first time on San Francisco Bay,” said Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority.
“This train represents more than just another stop on the AC World Series for us,” Barclay continued. “The arrival of the train today is the first step in our move ‘home’ to San Francisco.”
August’s races are part of a preliminary series designed in part to boost interest in the main event in San Francisco in 2013.
Cup organizers held an event on Pier 80, the home base of the Oracle Racing team, to celebrate the arrival of the America’s Cup Express, that came from Newport, R.I., where an earlier round of races ended July 1.
In coming weeks the Cup organizers will begin assembling an America’s Cup Village on the Marina Green, a collection of shops, educational booths and other entertainment where race fans can watch the competitions.
Riding the Green Train
“By our calculations we saved 30 percent in our carbon emissions coming across,” said Barclay.
San Francisco officials said it was the first time in a decade the city’s historic rail lines in the southeastern section had been used for such a massive load of cargo. The rails were heavily used decades ago when the Mission Bay area was a hub of industry.
“In those days the city had cattle farms on the west side and the slaughter yards were on the east side,” said San Francisco Port Director Monique Moyer.
Longshoremen will begin unloading the containers this week and hauling the yachts and racing gear to Piers 30, 32. The piers will serve as the home base for a fleet of 13 international teams competing in the America’s Cup World Series from August 21 to 26 on the San Francisco Bay. The race is a tune-up to the America’s Cup event in 2013.
In the meantime, Barclay said spectators will be able to view the teams practicing on the bay for weeks leading up to the event.
“I think for the first time ever they’ll be able to almost touch the boats,” said Barclay. “They’ll see the boats moored down at the Marina Green.”