1 Jan 2011

San Francisco confirmed as host of the 34th America's Cup

5:34 pm on 1 January 2011

San Francisco will host the 2013 America's Cup.

The 34th edition of sailing's biggest event is heading to San Francisco the event for the first time, thanks to Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison.

He's the chief executive of software company Oracle Corp, whose BMW Oracle team won the event in races off Valencia in Spain last February.

The America's Cup winners are allowed to determine the next location and Ellison, whose company is based 40 kilometres sout1h of San Francisco, sails for the city's Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Racing will be held in the picturesque San Francisco Bay and will be visible from renowned landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, the Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf.

Ellison has lauded San Francisco Bay as a "natural amphitheatre" for spectators to view the races, in contrast to events that have been sailed far offshore, and as a place where the winds would be predictable.

Founded in 1851, the America's Cup bills itself as the oldest active trophy in international sport.

German automaker BMW, which backed the Oracle America's Cup team for nine years, has ended its sponsorship.