Wednesday, February 10, 2010

America's Cup 33 News- Race One...nearly (again)!

Racing was postponed for two hours and then a further one hour today in an effort to allow the swell from yesterday’s high winds to subside. At around midday, race director Harold Bennett took the decision to abandon racing until Friday.

There were some interesting comments surrounding the decision. James Spithill, helmsman of USA said at the BMW Oracle press meeting: “we think probably at 10 am there was a window but having that said that, it is very easy to look from the outside. I think Harold Bennett is the right man for the job. I have full trust in Harold”. A member of the press asked “maybe you are not as well informed as Alinghi, they were saying last night there would not be a race today”. Spithill said “I can’t comment on that” but clearly was disappointed not to have been able to put the trimaran to the test.

Loick Peyron, co-helmsman of Alinghi 5 said: “The conditions were possibly boat breaking. These boats are for Formula 1 racing and you do not take them off to do the Paris-Dakar.”

There was a sense of disappointment among the crowds who had flocked to the America’s Cup port and the lack of accurate information was partly to blame. Since all the main action takes place far from the Velas y Vents building, it is essential that interest is maintained with regular broadcast up-dates.

Sadly, the programme does not allow for racing tomorrow but we will be there to assess the conditions ahead of the planned 10am start on Friday.
Mike O’Neill

Harold Bennett (NZL) Principal Race Officer explained:
“We have issued an amendment that there will be no signal before midday tomorrow Wednesday). We will make a further assessment at 0830hrs in the morning. So we will have a look at what it is like early in the morning. We will take a check then. There are a lot of strong winds forecast overnight and offshore and that is going to throw up a swell. So it is more the sea-state that is going to be of concern. Until we see what the sea state is we are not going to guess. I don’t want to put the boats out there if they are not going to sail. I do not want to put them all the way out there and bring them back without a race. Talking with the weather guys from both teams they agree that this is what we are going to get, so it is a fairly easy decision to make.”

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