Organizers of the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco and city officials have revised the proposed megayacht moorings for the race. The move comes in response to concerns raised by a California government agency and environmental organizations.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a floating dock that was to be set up near Rincon Park to accommodate 26 yachts from 100 to 250 feet LOA is no longer in the plans. Now, megayacht moorings will be on the north edge of the basin along Pier 14, which is north of the park. Additional dockage will be near either Pier 9 or Pier 36, both of which are also away from Rincon Park. Regardless, each of the new locations move the yachts closer to where the racing yachts will be based.
The America’s Cup superyacht berth plan was in dispute mostly due to the potential of hampering shore-side views and public access to the water. Regulations established by the state of California require the city to ensure public access.
“We restructured the plans to be a little more thoughtful about where these vessels might be located,” Michael Martin, a city official, was quoted as saying. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), an environmental organization that took issue with the initial plans, seems satisfied with the change. “This is what we wanted them to do,” Will Travis, BCDC’s executive director, told the paper. He explained that Rincon Park, “expressly designed with sweeping views of the open bay and the Bay Bridge,” needs to remain a welcoming place for the public. It’s especially key during the race, he said, given the thousands of visitors the America’s Cup should attract.
Even the America’s Cup Event Authority thinks the change is for the better. “There’s a huge interest in that pit-row feeling, where people can see boats being worked on, and brought in and out of the water,” Stephanie Martin, the chief communications officer for the group, told the San Francisco Chronicle.