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Posted 2/26/2013

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By Ryan McClymont
SPN Public Affairs Office

SAN FRANCISCO - From September 7 through the 22nd the city of San Francisco will host the running of the 34th America’s Cup with the city’s own Oracle Team USA defending their 2010 title.

As the competition dates quickly approach, the city of San Francisco is in a race of its own to complete construction of several locations to house the execution of the event.  One of the locations is the James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27, which will be used as the America’s Cup headquarters during the race.

To help meet the city’s deadline the US Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District command vessel John A.B. Dillard, Jr. was requested by the Port of San Francisco to aid in the removal of deteriorated pilings at piers 23 and 27. 

 “When the first America’s Cup races happened in September the port approached us and that is when we got the relationship rolling and we realized that we could help each other by assisting America’s Cup and making sure that our cities and our pier is ready to go,” said Kixon Meyer, captain of the John A.B. Dillard, Jr.

All along the pier, deteriorated and rotting pilings pose a danger to vessels trying to dock there.  The Dillard’s mission was to assist Port employees in safely removing those dangers.  Lines were attached from selected pilings to the Dillard’s pedestal-mounted grapple crane.  A Port employee then used a blow torch to cut through bolts holding the decayed piling to the pier.  Once the piling was cut free, the crane operator would rotate the piling onto the deck of the Dillard for later disposal.   

“The relationship between the port and the Army Corps is extremely important so we are working hand and hand to make sure we are taking care of what the public considers to be our job which is keeping these water ways clear,” said Meyer.

The Dillard will continue to support preparations leading up to the America’s Cup and will be joined by the Raccoon, another San Francisco District debris removal vessel, to provide debris removal capabilities during the races to ensure a safe and successful running of the event.

“We do this every day so we are very practiced at it, we are very safety conscience and I think that is really what we bring to the table as a federal organization,” said Meyer.