America’s Cup sailors warm up The Bay

Big boys are starting to play with their big toys in the big, salty bathtub known as the San Francisco Bay.

Racers have been on the water practicing this week for the America’s Cup World Series, which officially begins Wednesday afternoon with qualifying races.

Observers can watch the 45-foot catamarans go at it from the Marina Green or from their own boats on the water. Land-locked fans can check out the action on CSN California starting at 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Safely on dry land, America’s Cup Race Village opened today on Marina Green, with free bleacher seating open to all for practice sessions Tuesday. Bleacher seats have sold out for the weekend, but are still available for Wednesday and Thursday at $25 a pop.

Teams from eight nations are competing in this warm-up series to the showcase America’s Cup Finals scheduled for September 2013.