Coast Guard announces publication of a proposed special local regulation for the 34th America’s Cup

11th Coast Guard District NewsSAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard announced a proposed special local regulation publication in the Federal Register for the 34th America’s Cup and related races that are scheduled to take place in San Francisco Bay between August and September 2012 and between July and September 2013.

The proposed regulation would temporarily reroute vessel traffic between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island and create regulated areas where America’s Cup races will be held. There are 12 race days scheduled in 2012 and 45 race days in 2013.

“This proposed regulation will help achieve a safe and enjoyable event, while also ensuring continued commerce and recreational access on the Bay,” said Capt. Cynthia Stowe, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of San Francisco. “We have taken early input from many of the Bay’s users and incorporated lessons learned from Fleet Week into the drafting of this rule. I look forward to receiving any additional comment prior to publishing a final regulation.”

The proposed rule establishes dedicated regulated areas in the central Bay near the city’s waterfront. The regulated area in 2012 would extend from Crissy Field to Aquatic Park. The regulated area in 2013 would be roughly twice as large as the one in 2012 and would extend farther east to Pier 23 to accommodate the larger racing catamarans. Access restrictions would only apply between noon and 5:00 p.m. on designated race days and will be available through the Broadcast Notice to Mariners on VHF channel 22A. The proposed rule would allow commercial shipping traffic to continue to operate using the existing Deep Water Traffic Lane north of the proposed regulated area and includes provisions to accommodate vessels requiring access to pier space and facilities along the city’s waterfront.

“The temporary regulation will help America’s Cup conduct races that are safe and accessible to the public, while still allowing both recreational and commercial mariners access to the Bay and shipping lanes,” said Capt. Mathew Bliven, Coast Guard principal coordinator for the 34th America’s Cup. “We want to ensure that ferries, fishing vessels, and other commerce continue to flow and meet their schedules on race days. This regulation also reserves an area near Crissy Field where swimmers, rowers, and kayakers can safely enjoy the race and the Bay.”

The Coast Guard, National Park Service, and other federal agencies are preparing an environmental assessment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. The results will be considered before the Coast Guard finalizes the special local regulation.

The public may obtain a copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for AC34 and submit comments at, docket number USCG-0001-2504. There is a 90-day public comment period which ends on April 30. Three public meetings concerning the proposed special local regulation will be held at the following locations and times:

  • March 6, 2012 – Presidio Log Cabin, 1299 Storey Ave., San Francisco, CA 94129
  • March 7, 2012 – Inn Marin, 250 Entrada Dr., Novato, CA 94949
  • March 8, 2012 – Waterfront Hotel, 10 Washington St., Oakland, CA 94607

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