Blue Angels doing stunts over golden gate bridge.

Friday Oct 11, 2019 Schedule:

Parade of Ships – Rapel Demo – 11:00 AM

National Anthem – Flag Jump – 12:30 PM

US Navy Parachute Team – 12:36 PM

United Airlines – 12:45 PM

USCG C-27 / MH-65 Demo – 12:57 PM

National Guard – HH-60- Bucket Passes – 1:07 PM

Sean Tucker – Challenger III – 1:13 PM

JBLM-McChord Field – C-17 Passes – 1:19 PM

Greg Colyer – Ace Maker – T-33 – 1:29 PM

P-3 / P-8 Demo – 1:42 PM

Mike Wiskus – Lucas Oil Pitts – 1:52 PM

Capt Andrew Olson – F-35 Demo – 2:04 PM

F-35 / P-51 Warbird – Heritage Flight – 2:22 PM

Sean Tucker / Jessy Panzer – Oracle Demo – 2:33 PM

United Airlines – 2:48 PM

Blue Angels Team – 3:00 PM

*Schedule subject to change at any time*

Saturday / Sunday Oct 12-13, 2019 Schedule:

National Anthem – Flag Jump – 12:04 PM

US Navy Parachute Team – 12:10 PM

United Airlines – 12:19 PM

USCG C-27 / MH-65 Demo – 12:31 PM

National Guard – HH-60- Bucket Passes – 12:41 PM

Sean Tucker – Challenger III – 12:47 PM

JBLM-McChord Field – C-17 Passes – 12:53 PM

Greg Colyer – Ace Maker – T-33 – 1:03 PM

US Navy P-3 / P-8 Demo – 1:16 PM

Patriots Jet Team – 1:26 PM

Mike Wiskus – Lucas Oil Pitts – 1:52 PM

Capt Andrew Olson – F-35 Demo – 2:04 PM

F-35 / P-51 – Heritage Flight – 2:22 PM

Sean Tucker / Jessy Panzer – Oracle Demo – 2:33 PM

United Airlines – 2:48 PM

Blue Angels Team – 3:00 PM

*Schedule subject to change at any time*

San Francisco Fleet Week is a legendary event attracting more than one million people to the San Francisco waterfront annually. Fleet Week runs for a full seven days and concludes with a breathtaking Air Show featuring daring stunts by world-renowned pilots. Presented by United and produced by the Air Show Network, a choreographed air show with ten aerobatic performers will buzz across the San Franciso sky on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during SFFW. Below you will find descriptions of each act for the 2019 SFFW.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are the second oldest formal aerobatic team in the world. Founded in 1946, the Blue Angels are made up of five Navy demonstration pilots and one Marine Corps demonstration pilot. The famed performance features daring acts that showcase the skills of the pilots. Many of the same skilled maneuvers performed in 1946 are used in the routine today. Stunts such as the Diamond 360, Diamond Dirty Loop, Sneak Pass (reaching speeds of 700 mph!), and the Double Farvel are sure to impress. Roughly 11 million spectators view the Blue Angels during air shows from March through November every year.

United Boeing 777-300ER

Part of the United fleet, and one of Boeing’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER is the world’s largest twin-engine jetliner. The “Tripple Seven” has a capacity of 400 passengers and a range of 5,000-8,500 nautical miles. During San Francisco’s Fleet Week, the jet performs a “low pass” over the waterfront of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge.

F-35 Demo Team

The U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II. The F-35 is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth fighter jet that is operational in the U.S. Department of Defense. This jet has advanced stealth, exceptional agility, and maneuverability, with sensor and information fusion. 

The Patriots Jet Team

The Patriots Jet Team is the largest civilian-owned aerobatic jet team in the western hemisphere. Founded in 2002, and the team features former pilots who were a part of the Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Team Oracle, Sean D. Tucker, and Jessy Panzer

Sponsored by Oracle, Sean D. Tucker and Jessy Panzer will perform breath-taking aerobatics above the San Francisco Bay. Tucker is an esteemed performance pilot who has taken to the skies since 1976. Jessy Panzer has been performance flying since 2005 and is the only civilian female formation airshow pilot in the United States. 

Lucas Oil, Mike Wiskus

Flying for Lucas Oil, Mike Wiskus will be defying gravity during the 2019 lineup of the SFFW Air Show. Wiskus earned his pilot’s license when he was 17 and has accumulated over 25,000 flight hours. Wiskus will be flying the “Super Stinker” a PITTS S – 1 -11B.

U.S. Navy Parachute Team, The Leap Frogs 

The U.S. Navy’s Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, is made up of active-duty Navy SEALS and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC). The Leap Frogs’ performance consists of six jumpers who free fall from an aircraft at an altitude of 6,000 feet before deploying parachutes.

Air National Guard C-130

The Air National Guard will coordinate a flight over the Bay in the C-130. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft.

P-8 Poseidon and P-3 Orion

The P-8A Poseidon (P-8A) is the U.S. Navy’s multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. The P-8A efficiently conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and humanitarian response. 

Source: https://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=1100&tid=1300&ct=1

The P-3 Orion is a peerless airborne hunter. Its reputation as the ultimate maritime patrol aircraft has been through more than 50 years of service. It’s known as the guardian of the seas.

Source: https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/products/p-3.html

US Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demo

United States Coast Guard will demonstrate a simulated Search and Rescue (SAR) mission with its MH-65D helicopter. The H-65 helicopter — the Coast Guard’s most ubiquitous aircraft — is certified for operation in all-weather and night-time operations.

To see the Air Show Schedule, visit the San Francisco Fleet Week website or download the app. To see Day Sail availability on USA 76, visit our booking page.

It’s that time of year- time for San Francisco Fleet Week! The Bay will be full of ships of all sizes, while the sky will be busy with the most talented performance pilots in the world. A whole week of airshows and U.S. Navy ship tours makes for a busy time for the crew of USA 76. We will be sailing on the Bay all weekend long. Look for us on the water as we join in the Fleet Week celebrations. We’ll start our observations of San Francisco Fleet Week off with a brief history of Fleet week and how it came to San Francisco.

What is Fleet Week?

Fleet Week is a U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard tradition that invites active military ships to dock in major US cities for one week. While docked, the ship’s crews enjoy city life, and civilians tour select ships. Military demonstrations and air shows from world-renowned performance pilots like the Blue Angels accompany Fleet Week events.

Fleet Week was born in 1935 in the years between WWI and WWII. With military presence growing worldwide, President Franklin D. Roosevelt conceived Fleet Week, to showcase the United States military fleet. The first event was in conjunction with the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego. The event was a massive success with 114 warships, 400 military planes, and more than 3,000 commissioned officers and 55,000 enlisted men.

Since the inaugural Fleet Week, ten cities across America have adopted the tradition as a stand-alone event or addition to maritime festivals.

San Francisco Fleet Week (SFFW)

Fleet Week came to San Francisco in 1981 with the then-mayor, Dianne Feinstein. The Mission of the San Francisco Fleet Week is to honor the contributions of the men and women of the United Staes Armed Forces. It is a public event that aims to advance knowledge among civilian- and military-based Humanitarian Assistance personnel. The SFFW takes place on the Marina Green and the central portion of the San Francisco Bay. Festivities coincide with Italian Heritage Month and celebrate San Francisco’s maritime history that has influenced local culture.

Highlights of the SFFW include public tours of select active military ships and a fully choreographed air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Visit the SFFW website for more details on additional events taking place during the week, such as free concerts, the Parade of Ships, and the Veterans Art Exhibit.

For more information about San Francisco Fleet Week, visit the event website or download the app.

For a schedule of open public tours aboard USA 76 for the 2019 Fleet Week, visit our booking page.

Think you know everything about International America’s Cup Competitor (IACC) USA 76? Think again! Here are 11 facts that you might not have known about our favorite IACC yacht on San Francisco Bay!

Photo credit: Pat Lopez

1. There are five retired America’s Cup yachts available for charter in the world – USA 76 is one of them. You can find “Stars & Stripes 87” in the Caribbean and “Stars & Stripes (S1)” in Key Largo. You can also find replicas of the schooner that started it all, “America” in Key West, New York, and San Diego. While unavailable for charter, J-class competitor “Shamrock V” is currently for sale for a mere $6M.2.

2. USA 76 weighs approximately 50,000 lbs. Everything from the waterline up weighs about 10,000 lbs and made of carbon-fiber, titanium, and stainless steel. Made of carbon fiber and lead, everything below the waterline weighs 40,000 lbs.

3. “76” is not indicative of the yacht’s length. It’s her hull number. There were 101 IACC yachts made from 1990 to 2007, and USA 76 was the 76th hull.

4. Speaking of length, USA 76’s length overall is 84 ft. Her draft is 14 ft. and her beam is 12 ft. Her mast is 115 ft. tall. She’s very narrow for a yacht of her length and height.

5. The current sail area of USA 76 is roughly 2,800 sq. ft. Due to our 2008 refit, we reduce the sail area of each mainsail integrated into our wardrobe every year by removing the roach.

6. Initially, she had 3,500 sq. ft. of sail for upwind racing (mainsail and jib) and 8,000 sq. ft. of sail area for downwind racing (main, jib and spinnaker).

7. Each mainsail that USA 76 raced with cost $100,000. Originally the yacht raced with 35 mainsails in her wardrobe – that doesn’t include her many jibs and spinnakers.

8. Built-in 2002, USA 76 cost $5 million, not including the cost of her sail wardrobe.

9. The optimal heel angel for USA 76 is 27º. When the yacht is heeled properly, a slanted “stair” at the helm becomes level. This angle optimizes the waterline.

10. USA 76 can sail 25º off the true wind and 19º off the apparent wind. Few yachts worldwide can sail this close to the true wind angle.

11. Her maximum speed going close-hauled is 11+ knots. Going downwind, she reached approximately 22 knots.

12. USA 76 was built for speed. There are no right angles on the body of the yacht to promote airflow. The bow has concave sides and a curved top deck to ensure the surface doesn’t inhibit airflow.

13. Originally, USA 76 sailed with 17 individual crew members and an “18th man”. Each crew member had a specific job – grinder, tactician, spotter, bowman, helmsman, etc. – and they were an expert in their role. The “18th man” was a guest role and usually filled by a celebrity or primary sponsor.

USA 76 is Retired in Valencia, Spain

USA 76 was retired after competing in the Louis Vuitton Acts of 2006. Her fate was undecided and the yacht was stored in a yard in Valencia.  To replace her, BMW Oracle Racing debuted USA 87 – the IACC yacht that would go on to compete in the remaining Louis Vuitton Cup Acts.

Four years later, in 2010, the America’s Cup returned to the Spanish sea-side city. This time the defender and challenger would race on a catamaran and trimaran. BMW Oracle Racing successfully challenged Alinghi claiming the “Auld Mug” as it’s own. The trophy and the regatta would return to the United States for the 34th America’s Cup. USA 17, the victorious 90ft trimaran, would return to the United States too to be commemorated at Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, California.

ACsailingSF is born in San Francisco

Meanwhile, Brad and Karen Webb, the owners and founders of ACsailingSF, dreamt of sharing an authentic America’s Cup sailing experience with the public. With more than a decade of sailing in America’s Cup campaigns and the former bowman on USA 76, Brad Webb knew exactly what boat would make this dream a reality – it was in a boatyard in Valencia.

USA 76 was sitting unused, a shadow of her former glory, but Webb knew she was the sailboat to introduce the public to high-caliber yacht racing. With modifications, the yacht could hold up to twenty guests with five crew. San Francisco Bay, where the Webbs were based, was the prime location to showcase the yacht’s magnificence. The Webbs bought the yacht and USA 76 joined the caravan back to the United States. She was loaded into a container and shipped back to her home port alongside USA 17.

Before taking to the cool waters of San Francisco with paying passengers on board, the carbon fiber yacht had to undergo rigorous modifications. With passenger safety in mind and the goal of obtaining the USCG Certificate of Inspection (COI), USA 76’s new “shore crew” went straight to work when the yacht arrived in Oakland, California. A crew of professional yacht builders, engineers, and riggers who had experience working on high powered yachts facilitated all of the modifications at KKMI boatyard.

Modifications to USA 76

  • Life rails on cockpit combing – The stainless steel life rails give guests something strong and secure to hold onto when the yacht heels over. During the America’s Cup Races and Louis Vuitton Cup, racers would sit on the cockpit deck. There was no hiking and there were no lifelines.
  • Thru-hulls – In order to meet COI regulations, an engine and bilge pumps would need to be installed. Thus, thru-hulls had to be fitted in the carbon fiber hull.
  • Saildrive – A saildrive was installed along with the thru-hulls and the engine.
  • Engine – IACC yachts didn’t have engines. They were towed to and from the racing areas. To be COI compliant, USA 76 needed an engine. The brand new 75HP beast had to be hoisted into the yacht with a crane.
  • Bulkheads – Originally, there were no bulkheads in the hull of USA 76. Three were installed to divide the hull into four sections. This isolated the engine and created an “engine room”.
  • Keel bulb modifications – With the addition of the bulkheads, life rails, and engine, USA 76 would need modifications in the lead bulb at the bottom of her keel to help unload the rig and redistribute weight. More than 2.5 tons of lead were removed from the bulb with a chainsaw. The crew had to replace the chainsaw blade three times in order to complete the job.
  • Branding – Last but not least, “USA 76” would replace the “ORACLE” branding that had adorned her hull in the past.

USA 76 refit at KKMI

Launching an America’s Cup Experience to the Public

In early 2011, the modified yacht was launched (sans the rig) and the waterline was re-measured. After a brief shakedown to ensure there were no leaks or issues with the engine and other modifications, the mast was stepped, the boat was rigged and the bottom painted.

At long last, 11 months after the inception of ACsailingSF, it was time for the moment of truth. USA76 was inspected by the USCG and deemed seaworthy for up to 20 passengers and 5 crew. The COI was obtained. Success! USA 76 would sail once again – bringing the thrill of America’s Cup sailing to sailing enthusiasts from around the world.

Summer in the City by the Bay

Summer is here! In San Francisco, that means Karl the Fog is back and with it, steady winds and sailing. Thousands of tourists from all over the world vacation in the “City by the Bay” to enjoy breathtaking sights, incredible food, and learn about our rich history.  San Francisco Bay is a world-renowned sailing destination and you should definitely find time to get out on the water during your stay. Like any metropolis, there are tons of exciting attractions and landmarks to visit but the best views of the city are from a boat. To make your sightseeing decisions easy, here is a list of crew-approved, water-based activities that will delight everyone in the family.

Sail an America’s Cup yacht

1. Go Sailing in San Francisco

Hop aboard USA 76! Of course, we are a bit bias here but don’t miss sailing on USA 76. ACsailingSF offers one of the most unique sailing experiences in the world aboard a retired America’s Cup racing yacht. Step aboard this carbon fiber yacht and take on the same tasks that the professional sailors did when the yacht raced in New Zealand during the 2003 America’s Cup. After hoisting the behemoth sails, you’ll have the chance to take the helm and steer the yacht along the city front and under the Golden Gate Bridge. We offer many public trips to suit busy sightseeing schedules including morning, afternoon, and sunset sails. Take a look at our ticketed trips page to reserve your spot.

2. Visit Alcatraz Island

Visit Alcatraz Island. Otherwise known as “The Rock”, this former prison is one of the most popular landmarks in the Bay Area. The island was discovered by Spanish Explorers in 1775, by 1850 the US military used it to house cannons and in 1934, it was turned into a maximum-security prison. Amongst its many infamous prisoners were Al “Scarface” Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Public Enemy No 1. Alvin “Creepy Karpis” Karpowicz. Sure, the only way on and off the island is by ferry-boat, but a tour of the island prison is well worth the trek to get there. Get your Alcatraz Tickets here.  

USA 76 carbon fiber yacht in San Francisco in from of Alcatraz
Visit Alcatraz Island

3. Visit Sausalito, Tiburon, and Oakland by Sailboat

Explore the Bay by luxury sailboat. There are plenty of small and medium-sized sailboats available for charter for intimate groups from 2-20 people. Ask your captain to visit a local dock and dine restaurants like Sam’s Cafe in Tiburon or The Trident in Sausalito. Docking or mooring at Angel Island is also a popular day trip. One of our favorite private charter boats is Fine Day for Sailing. Captain Heather Richard is a former crew member on USA 76 and knows the Bay very well.

4. Take a Scenic Ferry Ride

Take a Ferry Ride. If you plan to visit Sausalito, Tiburon or Angel Island, a ferry ride to or from your destination is the way to go. The SF to Sausalito ferry was voted number 5 in Budget Travel’s Most Scenic Ferry Rides in 2009. With the Golden Gate Bridge stretching out on one side of the boat and the city front sprawling out on the other, you’ll agree. Visit Golden Gate Transit to check the schedule and plan your trip.

Take a ferry to Sausalito and Tiburon.

5. Visit the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39

Visit the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39. Did you know that the SF Bay approximately 50% saltwater and 50% freshwater? Did you know that sharks live in its murky waters? While more of an “in the water” attraction, the Aquarium of the Bay is a great activity for all ages. Amongst jellyfish and sea otter exhibits, this aquarium features all the creatures that live in the waters of the Bay Area. Tickets and hours are here.

6. Go Whale Watching in the Pacific Ocean

Go whale watching. During their annual migrations, grey whales, humpbacks and blue whales make a pit stop near the Gulf of the Farallones and the Golden Gate Straits. It’s not uncommon to see humpback whales breaching under the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco Whale Tours is our neighbor at the docks and provides daily trips offshore in search of cetacea activity. While offshore you’ll see other sea creatures like jellyfish, mola mola, harbor porpoises, sea lions, and a plethora of sea birds. Book your whale watching trip here and prepare for an oceanic adventure with Whale Girl, a local naturalist (she’s also crew on USA76).

Whale Watching in the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Whale Girl.

They’re here – SailGP’s F50s have arrived in San Francisco! On May 4th and 5th, sailing teams from the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Japan, and China will compete in a high-stakes, high-speed competition aboard the World’s fastest sailboats.

This will be the first SailGP race to take place in the United States and the second event of the five-part championship. Official races will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th from 12 – 2 pm. Racing will take place on the water in front of the Yacht Club Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay.

SailGP teams Great Britain and Australia on San Francisco Bay
Photo Credit: Pressure Drop

The World Fastest Foiling Yachts

The F50s are the World’s fastest foiling catamarans. “F” stands for foiling. “50” indicates the length of the catamaran – 50 feet. But it’s not just the foiling and the size of these boats that is impressive. It’s how fast they will go. The F50 engineers predict the boats will break the”50-knot barrier” – the sailing world’s equivalent to the sound barrier.

The core components of the SailGP F50s were sourced from the catamarans sailed in the 2017 America’s Cup. Post racing in Bermuda, the AC50 hulls and wingsails were stripped. After 100,000 hours of work they were put back together and transformed into completely different boats. The new cats are incredibly light for their size. Each boat has two sets of interchangeable light-air and heavy-air foils, rudders, and wingsails, making them prone to foiling and top speeds in any wind condition.

Team USA Practicing on San Francisco Bay Photo Credit: Pressure Drop

The reorganization of the cockpit on the F50 also makes for a faster sailboat. Originally, the AC50s had two grinding pedestals (typically used for charging hydraulics and trimming sails). One of these pedestals has been replaced. In its place is a lithium-ion battery used to provide a 5-hour charge for the hydraulic systems on the yachts. The use of a computerized system makes frequent tacks and gybes possible, eliminating the time it takes for the crew to manually charge the hydraulics. All controls for the wingsail, foil, and rudder have been made more accessible too. Newly implemented foot pedals, twist grips on the steering wheel and even a joystick replace typical sailboat controls and can be adjusted with the lightest touch. Take a full tour of Team Australia’s cockpit with helmsman Tom Slingsby below.

One Design Yacht Racing Puts Traditional Sailing Skills to the Test

SailGP levels the playing field for each competing nation by computerizing many of the components involved in sailing the yacht. Each boat is identical bringing the skill of the sailors on the boat to the forefront of the sailing arena. Wind and water conditions, boat speed and other data are constantly streamed back to the shore team to analyze and compare during and after races. Each SailGP team is made up of approximately 100 people with 5 core crew – professional sailors. The AC50s were allowed 6 professional sailors onboard during races. More One-Design Rules for SailGP yachts include:

  • Length overall is 15 meters
  • Beam (width): 8.8 meters (including appendages)
  • Wing Height: currently 24 meters, evolving to an 18m heavy air wing and a 28m light air wing
  • Crew: 5, consisting of a helmsman, wing-trimmer, flight controller and two grinders
  • Crew weight limit: 438 kilograms (average of 87.5 kg per sailor)
  • Onboard cameras: 3
  • Onboard microphones: 3
SAILGP Team China on San Francisco Bay. Photo Credit: Pressure Drop

Will you be watching SailGP this weekend? Learn more about the F50 catamaran, competing nations and viewing options at SailGP.com.

That’s right! USA 76 is the sight of one of the best San Francisco team building activities you can experience. This fast and aerodynamic racing yacht is the ultimate form of team building and way better than any offsite on land. When you book a team building experience, your colleagues will get the opportunity to hoist the sails, helm the yacht and hone your communication skills. We can host anywhere from 8 – 20 guests on USA 76 and partner with other large yachts on the bay to accommodate groups of more than 20.

Types of team building activities at ACsailingSF

Bay Challenge – the ultimate team-building exercise. This is a three-hour tour that is a timed race course around SF Bay. After our coaches greet you at the docks, your team will be assigned specific roles that will be integral to getting the boat around the race course. Communication, teamwork, and desision making is all a part of the Bay Challenge.

Corporate Team Building – A corporate team building event is the best way to gather your team for a thrilling sail around the Bay. This is not a timed course so it’s a bit more relaxing though no less exciting. Your group will have the opportunity to steer the yacht, use our “coffee grinders” and hoist the sails. You can book a corporate team building event any day of the week. Sunset sails and Friday Night Races during the summer are popula.

Private Yacht Charters –  Do you want to impress your clients? Nothing wows visitors to the Bay Area than a jaunt around Central San Francisco Bay aboard the “Formula One race car” of the water. For every sail, we follow the wind and can sail anywhere. This includes the San Franciso or Sausalito City fronts, past Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge. USA76 is a multi-million dollar yacht and her racing pedigree makes her an incredible piece of history. You can “own” her for the afternoon when you charter her for an event.

What past clients say about this San Francisco teambuilding event

“Our entire Management team loved LOVED this team building. Our guys who flew in from Israel for this event will be the biggest fans and promoters of ACSailing in Israel going forward. Seriously.
BTW, The entire team is ex-military, so this was very special for them.”

Ophir A. @ Perimeterx
Picture of the Bay Challenge - a times race course on San Francisco Bay.

“We had an amazing event. The crew was consummate professionals, entertaining, knowledgeable and incredibly enthusiastic. Every single guest from Insitu loved their experience, from the non-sailor to the seasoned sailor! It was also agreed that everyone preferred the experience of sailing in the stormy weather as it added to the intensity and adrenalin of the experience. We look forward to bringing groups to you and working with you and the team again and again!”

Matt S. @ Global Sessions

Book your team building event in San Francisco for the 2019 season now. Warren Allen at 619-630-6383 or warren@acsailingsf.com to book your team building event today.

Fleet Race in Valencia. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.

As we established in the previous post, the Louis Vuitton Cup was established as the “playoffs” for America’s Cup to determine what nation would challenge the 2003 defender. Of the nine events that Louis Vuitton sponsored, five of the prevailing challengers went on to win the America’s Cup that followed.

From 2004 to 2007, the Louis Vuitton Cup was diced into “Acts” to narrow down the competition and talent that followed the “Auld Mug” around the world. These Acts consisted of thirteen fleet and match races that were held in multiple countries. A total of twelve teams, 200+ elite sailors, representing nine nations competed. Each Act would reveal a winning team that would accrue points ultimately earning the title of Challenger of the 32nd America’s Cup. The reigning defender and winner of the 31st America’s Cup was the Swiss Team Alinghi of the Société Nautique de Genève (Switzerland). Alighini brought the Cup to Valencia Spain for the 32nd America’s Cup and would compete in all 13 Louis Vitton Acts alongside the challengers.

Alinghi Holds the Lead

Over the course of the Acts, Alinghi held a strong lead, including winning the ACC Championship in Act 5. By the end of the second year of the Acts, Alinghi was at the top closely followed by “The Big Three”, Oracle BMW Racing, Luna Rossa, and Emirates Team New Zealand. During Act 8, in Sicily, the French Team K-Challenge knocked Alinghi out of it’s 31-race winning streak.

Swiss Alinghi races on the fourth day of match racing of the Louis Vuitton Cup Act 12 regatta off the coast of Valencia, 25 June 2006. Photo credit should read JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images.

Carnage in Valencia

Acts 9 – 13 brought festivities back to Valencia where the 2007 America’s Cup would take place. The final, 13th Act (originally dubbed the 14th Act so as to avoid an unlucky 13th race but called the 13th act at the end to avoid confusion) was riddled with carnage. Italy’s +39 was dismasted and Oracle BMW Racing’s spinnaker pole was snapped in half. At the end of 5 days of racing, Emirates Team New Zealand was victorious and moved on to challenge Alinghi during the 32nd America’s Cup.

Italy’s +39 Challenge is dismasted during the final Acts of the Louis Vuitton Cup in Valencia.

List of Competitors in Louis Vuitton Acts

  1. The United States – BMW Oracle Racing – USA 76
  2. New Zealand – Emirates Team New Zealand – NZL 82
  3. Spain – Desafío Español 2007 – ESP 67
  4. South Africa – Team Shosholoza – RSA 83
  5. Italy – Luna Rossa – ITA 74
  6. Italy – +39 Challenge – ITA 85
  7. Sweden – Victory Challenge – SWE 63
  8. Germany – United Internet Team Germany – GER 72
  9. Italy – Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team – ITA 77
  10. China  – China Team – CHN 69
  11. France – K Challenge – FRA 60
Malmo, SWEDEN: BMW Oracle Racing (USA 76) (L) sails to victory over China Team (CHN 69) in their match-race in the Louis Vuitton Act 6 of the 32nd America’s Cup, 28 August 2005 outside Malmo. The Malmo-Sk?ne Louis Vuitton sixth and seventh acts are sailed ahead of the 32nd America Cup set in Valencia, Eastern Spain in 2007. AFP PHOTO – SVEN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read SVEN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Locations & Winners for the Louis Vuitton Acts 2004 – 2007

ActDateLocationWinner
Act 1Sept. 2004Marseille, FranceOracle BMW Racing
USA 76
Act 2Oct. 2004Valencia, SpainEmirates Team
New Zealand
Act 3Oct. 2004Valencia, SpainAlinghi wins ACC
Leads in points
Act 4June 2005Valencia, SpainAlinghi
Act 5June 2005Valencia, SpainLuna Rossa
Act 6Aug. 2005Malmö, Skåne, SwedenAlinghi
BMW Leads in Points
Act 7Sept. 2005Malmö, Skåne, SwedenAlinghi
Act 8Oct. 2005Trapani, ItalyAlinghi
Act 9Mar. 2006Trapani, ItalyAlinghi
Act 10May 2006Valencia, SpainEmirates Team
New Zealand
Act 11May 2006Valencia, SpainAlinghi
Act 12June 2006Valencia, SpainEmirates Team
New Zealand
Act 13April 2007Valencia, SpainAlinghi Wins
Emirates leads points
Team Emirates New Zealand wins the Louis Vuitton Cup and moves on to challenge Alinghi for the 32nd America’s Cup.

High Fashion, Even Higher Sails

As we delve further into the history of America’s Cup we come across numerous Challengers, sponsors, and athletes that have sought to leave their legacy alongside America’s Cup. One such sponsor is Louis Vuitton. Of course, the only thing sexier than high fashion is multi-million dollar yachting. It only made sense for luxury’s finest to enter the scene in 1983.

Advertisement for the Louis Vuitton Trophy and the 35th America’s Cup held in Bermuda.

Louis Vuitton and the “Auld Mug”

Since it’s inception, there was an onslaught of international challengers vying for a chance to claim the “Auld Mug”. This popularity spurred the launch of the “Challenger’s Cup” which became the “playoffs” of America’s Cup. The Louis Vuitton Cup sought to narrow the competition in nine round-robin points accruing phases. The team that won the Louis Vuitton Cup would go on to challenge the current holder of America’s Cup. The first Louis Vuitton Cup was held in Newport Rhode Island. Australia II won and went on to challenge America’s Liberty for the 25th America’s Cup. Louis Vuitton sponsored a total of eight America’s Cup Events. This included one Louis Vuitton Trophy in 2017 that determined the 35th America’s Cup Challenger. Of the nine events sponsored by Louis Vuitton, five of the victorious teams have gone on to win America’s Cup!

In 2003, Auckland New Zealand set the stage for the 6th Louis Vuitton Cup and the 31st America’s Cup. Team New Zealand of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron was the defending champion. Skipper, Dean Barker, was at the helm. There were nine competitors from six nations with their most talented and elite sailors on board.

Team New Zealand’s crew positions for the 2003 America’s Cup held in New Zealand.

2003 Louis Vuitton Cup

Enter Oracle BMW Racing and USA 76! The team was founded by Larry Ellison and skippered by Peter Holmberg. The team included elite sailors like our very own Brad Webb, Paul Cayard, John Cutler, Phil Jameson, Brian MacInnes, Cameron Dunn, and Chris Dickson. In accordance to class rules, the yacht boasted 40,000lbs of lead ballast, 10,000 lbs of carbon fiber, and 2,8000 sq ft. of sail area.

America’s Cup Returns to Europe

After a series of nine round-robin races, Team Alinghi went head to head with Oracle BMW Racing. It was a ferocious fight, however, Alighi won and went on to challenge Team New Zealand in the 31st America’s Cup. The team prevailed and brought the “Auld Mug” back to Europe. The 2007 America’s Cup would take place in Valencia Spain. Take a look at the clip below to see some of the action between Alinghi and Team New Zealand.

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