Wednesday, November 09, 2011

If you were coming to San Diego...

Attending sporting events is risky business. When to get there? Where to park? Where to sit? So what do you do with an event that has never been held before? You wing it, which is what spectators will be doing in San Diego for the third stop in the inaugural America's Cup World Series (AWS) on November 12-20, 2011.

Here are some tips to help enjoy the experience:

Schedule:
The first weekend has mandatory practice races. No races are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, but expect the teams to either be on the bay for practice or in the pit for prep. The planned competition is Wednesday through Sunday, so expect bigger crowds those days too. Click here for details.

Transportation:
For car parking, a pay lot is a block away from the Event Village and there are coin meter spaces on the adjacent street. However, get there early to avoid getting shut out. Safer options could be to use bikes, pedicabs or taxis, or drive to a San Diego Trolley station and take the train to the downtown station a couple of blocks away. Click here for details. 

Viewing:
Specatator boats will be kept approximately 50-60 meters from the course boundaries. Click here for details. Watching the races from the Midway Museum, Navy and Broadway piers are closest to the course, but there may not be bleachers so prepare to stand in crowds (or buy a VIP package). The ends of the race course are adjacent to G Street Marina and Harbor Island, which both have limited parking and space to sit. Hot tip is to have lunch at The Fish Market (nice) and Top of the Market (nicer) at the leeward marks (SE of Navy Pier), or at C Level (nice) and Island Prime (nicer) near the windward marks on Harbor Island. Click here for details. Another hot tip is to listen to race commentary from the broadcast on your iOS mobile device (see below).

Entertainment:
The AC Village has closed Harbor Drive at Broadway and Navy Piers, and will be hosting live music, DJ's and local California cuisine and shops and specialty stands. The village will have a large screen for race viewing, plus host interactive entertainment such as the America's Cup Experience, a racing simulator that offers a taste of what it's like to sail on a high-speed catamaran. Prize giving and team interviews will be on the village stage. Hours are 10a-6p on Nov. 12-15 and 10a-10p on Nov. 16-20. To enter the AC Village, there is a requested $10 donation to support the AC Healthy Ocean Project. Click here for details.

Weather:
Despite the propaganda from San Diego Convention and Tourism Bureau, it does begin to get colder and wetter in November. And winter winds are hit or miss. The forecast currently calls for rain and big breeze on the first weekend, with clearing skies and calmer winds expected through the week.

Broadcast:
The America’s Cup YouTube channel will be streaming the event live online Nov. 16-20. Look for the broadcast schedule to begin 30 minutes before racing begins each day (see schedule above). And for the first time, there will be live streaming to iOS mobile devices through the AC YouTube channel. Also, a recap of the event will be broadcast on the Versus cable channel on November 22 at 5:00 P.M. ET. Streaming live here: http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericasCup

Preview:
Teams began training on Tuesday, and the America's Cup World Series Event Village will be open to the public on Wednesday, Nov 9th. Get an insider's look of the village after 3:30 pm and you'll also get to see the AMERICA'S CUP TROPHY. Unveiling the trophy will be Tom Ehman, Vice Commodore of Golden Gate Yacht Club, who will be joined by Ian Murray, Bruno Trouble, and Terry Hutchinson for 'Cupdates' at 4:00 pm (youth sailors) and 5:30 pm (open). No RSVP necessary.

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