Yes, Russell Coutts, it’s about “the Facebook generation.” Every wrinkle of the venue selection drama played out on my Facebook page on New Year’s Eve: The premature announcement, the takeback, links to the “published report” based on the premature announcement, links to the TV stations that picked up on said report until at last—via email—came word from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s America’s Cup project manager, Kyri McClellan, that we really really really had a deal. Which I duly noted on Facebook before turning to ye old blog.
Now here we are in 2011, and with BMW bowing out of the game, darling, all my BMW Oracle Racing logo gear is so last season.
And ten years on, Norbert Bajurin, the Golden Gate Yacht Club commodore who pitched his club to Larry Ellison in 2000, and made GGYC an America’s Cup challenger and now the defender for the 34th match, is back in the saddle for a two-year term. “That’s what it boiled down to, ten years,” Bajurin says, ten years on from Contact and a few days on from that roller coaster final day leading up to the announcement (that should have been inevitable) that San Francisco Bay is the site for the next America’s Cup match.
“Larry Ellison’s dream was to win the Cup and bring it to San Francisco,” Bajurin says. “Now it’s done. I got a little worried there for a while, but I shouldn’t have.
“You know that Newport is a backup, if we fail. The Chairman [I believe he means Tom Ehman, Director of External Affairs for Ellison’s racing team] offered them that.”
But, short of suffering The Big One at the wrong moment, San Francisco is not going to fail. I’ve never seen the political side of this town so united, and even John Q Citizen can occasionally be heard taking a stab at talking about it.
GGYC had its change of watch ceremony/celebration/New Year’s party on Friday night, just hours after the venue confirmation, and yes, it was as joyous as any affair on the planet. All the local television stations had the clubhouse staked out, Commodore-again Bajurin says. “Nobody could get out without being hit by the lights and the microphones.”
Next: A signing ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, presumably at City Hall, coupled to a press conference with the powers that be in the Event Authority and AC Race Management.