America's Cup: "Guests" to Be on Boats -- for a Price

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Groucho, for one, would never be a "guest" on a boat that would accept him
The high drama of the the America's Cup rollout -- Imploded deals! Lawsuits! Hardly anyone participating! -- has obscured one of the zanier aspects of the forthcoming race. Each of the 13-story AC72 catamarans will be mandated to carry a "guest racer" --  a tourist, essentially, who will be on the boat, during the race.

Up for it? There are two quick requirements -- you can't weigh more than 100 kilograms (220.5 pounds). And you've gotta kick down metric shitloads of money.

Asked just how much scratch it would cost to plant one's (sub-221-pound) derriere on a racing AC72, an America's Cup official declined to name an exact dollar figure. Rather, you -- or your beneficiaries -- will have to "do business" with the folks in charge of lining up race sponsorships -- "significant business."

Racing fans with mad money to burn cannot sit alongside Tony Stewart. Football aficionados cannot hitch a piggyback ride on Randy Moss (though Niners fans may speculate someone is doing just that -- if the 35-year-old receiver navigates lethargically this season). Sailing nuts, however, can, literally, get in the game.

After being informed of the possibility of buying one's way onto the boat, a recent gathering of marine professionals were then shown a five-minute film of intimidatingly large catamarans capsizing, colliding, and even flipping forward, sending crew members -- and, perhaps, "guests" -- hurtling into the sea.

How much do we have to pay to stay off the boat?

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Sara Stewart
Sara Stewart

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ACCURATE. I saw in San Diego that mayors and electeds from all over San Diego were invited to be guest racers (for free with no donation to AC) and in Portugal the America's Cup people gave these spots to non-profis to auction off to benefit local non-profits. 

Joe Eskenazi
Joe Eskenazi

 Sara --

With all due respect, your claims of inaccuracy are inaccurate.

Various politicos -- or, considering the attendance in San Diego, random people wandering along the waterfront -- may have been plunked into an AC45 during that event. But this article is about the forthcoming America's Cup races -- not the trials. And it deals with the yet-to-be-constructed AC72 boats, not the AC45s.

It's possible that charitable agencies or nonprofits will be given a chance to auction off such spots -- though you're talking about a very valuable gift indeed. That could also factor into whether a politician can accept such a lucrative gift per this city's ethics laws.

Thanks for reading,

JE

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