“"At each event every team has improved. We’re expecting Luna Rossa, with two teams, to be very, very competitive. Although the AC World Series is new for them, some of their sailors have been competing on other teams and other boats (in the Extreme Sailing Series), so they have great, talented sailors and we expect them to be among the top boats. We also can’t forget about Energy Team who sailed so well in San Diego and obviously Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing are both solid teams. Every team has improved, it’s just a matter of how much compared to everyone else." -John Kostecki, ORACLE Racing Spithill”—http://www.facebook.com/johnkosteckisailor
But according to the story, ties between the region and the Cup go back as much as twenty six years ago. In 1986, Bay Area sailing legend Tom Blackaller met with Robert Mondavi at his Oakville winery to ask Mondavi to sponsor Blackaller’s quest to wrest the Cup from the Royal Perth Yacht Club.