THIS AUGUST, as the America’s Cup races
bring the international sailing world to the
West Coast. Here’s a boater’s inside guide
to the bay, to river hideaways and wine
country, and to the main event
PHOTOS: ABNER KINGMAN; KIMBALL LIVINGSTON
Clockwise from opposite page: A powerboat passes
beneath the Oakland-Bay Bridge with the San Francisco
skyline beyond. Harvest time in Napa. Only expert surfers belong in the break below the Golden Gate Bridge.
Spectators crowd the bleachers for America’s Cup racing.
the Golden Gate are prime salmon fishing.
And for something completely different, the
waterfront of San Francisco, from the Golden
Gate Bridge to the new Cruise Ship Terminal
at the foot of Telegraph Hill, is home in 2013
to the sailing world’s greatest gathering, the
America’s Cup sailboat races.
As one of the world’s top tourist destinations, the San Francisco Bay Area draws
people from every corner of the globe and
from every state and county in the USA.
It’s a big, surprisingly (even strangely)
varied region. People who live here, in the
space of a morning’s drive, can experi-
ence something entirely different — in
views, open space, forest, altitude, and
even weather — from what they have at
home. In 2013, many people will visit for
the sake of viewing the America’s Cup,
now transformed from the slow, social-set
game of old to a new beyond-the-X-Games
gamble, multiplied exponentially in terms
of money and speed in 72-foot catamarans
entirely capable of instant self-destruction.
For the first time ever, an America’s Cup
match will be sailed in view of an audience
ashore, with a television production that
makes the racing understandable to all. No
one visiting the region, whether here for
this purpose or not, will be able to ignore
the world-class event that carries so much
history and so much freight and is happen-
ing in an entirely new way.